Deadly drug deal: Teen accused of shocking man with Taser before fatal shooting

By Cory McCord - Digital News Editor

The mug shot of William "Ziggy" Underwood, who is charged with murder.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - A 17-year-old who is charged with murder faced a judge last Friday.

William "Ziggy" Underwood is accused of shooting Ryan Bates to death July 16.

What happened

Authorities said Underwood met Bates to buy marijuana. They met in an apartment complex parking lot in northwest Harris County.

A witness told investigators she saw Underwood peering into cars before the shooting, according to officials.

When Bates pulled up, Underwood approached the driver's side window and leaned into the window, authorities said. The witness said she then heard the horn honk several times, according to authorities.

Underwood then ran around the front of the car, got inside the front passenger seat and shocked Bates several times with a Taser, according to authorities. Underwood then shot Bates several times, investigators said.

Another man pulled into the parking lot, got out of his vehicle and took something from Bates' car, according to authorities. He then left the scene, investigators said.


After the shooting, authorities said Underwood drove by the crime scene and posted the video on Snapchat. Investigators were seen in the background of the video, according to authorities.

Underwood changed his Snapchat name later that day, according to authorities.


About three weeks after the shooting, Underwood was taken into custody.

Officials said he confessed to the shooting.

Underwood told authorities that he set up the drug deal with Bates through Snapchat.

He said that he thought he was going to be robbed when he got in Bates' car, authorities said. He said he grabbed a Taser that was in the cupholder and shocked Bates several times, according to authorities.

Underwood told investigators that when Bates grabbed a knife, he pulled a gun and shot him three times, according to authorities.

Underwood told authorities that he tossed the gun in a field and went to his sister's apartment.


Underwood enrolled at Magnolia High School on Feb. 20. He previously attended school in Cy-Fair Independent School District, according to district officials.

Officials said he hasn't returned to school for the fall semester.

What's next

Underwood is being held on a $250,000 bond.

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