Detectives are investigating whether a Foss High School junior shot a fellow student to death in a school hallway last week because he felt slighted in some way, a Tacoma police official said Saturday.
Douglas S. Chanthabouly, 18, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Samnang Kok, who was gunned down before first bell Wednesday.
Chanthabouly, who might be schizophrenic and taking anti-pyschotic drugs, has admitted to killing Kok but hasn't told detectives why, according to court records.
"One of the rumors that's out there is he felt disrespected in some way, " police spokesman Mark Fulghum said Saturday. "It has a little more credibility than some of the other things they're looking at."
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Fulghum said detectives developed the theory after interviewing acquaintances of both teens, but investigators still can't say for sure that's the reason Chan-thabouly shot Kok. They still were looking into reports that the two had a dispute over money or property of some kind, Fulghum said.
Chanthabouly is "not talking, so we still don't know, " he said.
Letters and a notebook seized by police during a search of Chanthabouly's home Wednesday revealed no motive, Fulghum said.
"It was mostly just ramblings, scribblings, schoolwork, that kind of thing, " he said.
Police also confiscated a .38-caliber revolver, three boxes of ammunition and two blue bandannas during the search, according to court records.
They also seized a black handgun carrying case with a holster inside, a checkbook and another letter belonging to one of Chan-thabouly's brothers.
Fulghum said the gun wasn't found in Chanthabouly's room, so detectives aren't sure if it belongs to him or to someone else who lives in the house.
A relative told police last week that Chanthabouly was known to buy and sell guns and had taken firearms to school in the past, court documents state. Chanthabouly was carrying a 9 mm pistol when he was arrested Wednesday morning following the shooting at Foss.
Detectives believe Kok was killed with a 9 mm pistol.
Chanthabouly, who has pleaded not guilty, was being held in jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
His next court appearance is scheduled for later this month.