The King County Medical Examiner announced Wednesday afternoon that investigators have determined the December death of Hamza Warsame in a fall from a Capitol Hill building was an accident in a case that surfaced concerns about hate crimes and anti-Muslim sentiment in Seattle.
The teen Seattle Central student died Saturday, December 5th in a 60-foot fall from a building near Summit and Thomas. At the time, CHS was one of the only media outlets to report the death. But the story quickly grew into an international controversy and brought to light local tensions and concerns about hate and Islamophobia against local Muslim communities.
Late last month as national news outlets including the Los Angeles Times began reporting on the case, Seattle Police officials said there was no evidence the 16-year-old was beaten before he fell. A representative from the King County Medical Examiner’s Office told CHS its investigation into the death was on hold while police investigated the case.
Wednesday afternoon, a Seattle Police representative said the medical examiner’s announcement won’t close the investigation until detectives are satisfied the medical results match up with collected evidence. The official cause of death from the examiner was announced as blunt force injuries from an “unintentional fall from building.”
Warsame attended Rainier Beach High School and was starting his first quarter at Seattle Central under the college’s Running Start program, a SCC spokesperson told CHS. Running Start allows high school juniors and seniors to take college–level classes for high school and college credit. His sister told CHS the family immigrated from Somalia to Seattle in 1994. She said Hamza wanted to attend MIT in Boston to study computer science. “He was interested in technology, he was a game fanatic,” she told CHS.