SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Police and detectives called the drive-by shooting death of 15-year-old Molly Conley an act of random violence perpetrated by one suspect during a night-long shooting spree.
Probable cause documents released by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office detail the events leading up to the arrest of Erick N. Walker, 26, of Marysville in the shooting death of Conley. The documents allege the Conley shooting was just one of several shots fired at different, apparently random targets by Walker.
Police said Walker acted alone and did not know Conley, or any of the other homes or targets he allegedly shot at.
Walker is expected to be charged with one count of first-degree murder, four counts of drive-by shooting, and five counts of second-degree assault. He is in Snohomish County Jail awaiting charges. Walker wasn’t believed to have any gang affiliations, but did own an array of guns.
Police interviewed five of Conley’s friends who were with her on June 1 when she was shot at 11:15 p.m. Two of Conley’s friends described a vehicle that had passed them when Conley was shot. They each also said they heard a “pop” as the car passed them.
A few hours after Conley was shot, police responded to calls of additional shootings in the area.
“There were several reports of shots fired that same night,” Speyer said.
When police responded to various locations within Marysville, they found a bullet embedded in a wall in one location and property damage from gun fire in another location. Police also investigated a witness report that they had seen a man in the area running with a rifle, but they were unable to locate a suspect. No one was injured in those incidents.
According to Speyer, police began to piece together information with bullet casings collected from the various scenes. Experts matched the bullets with 30-caliber carbine weapons recently purchased around the area and were also able to scrape paint off the side of a car damaged on June 1 in a hit-and-run incident near where Conley was shot, with police believing the perpetrating car to be the suspect.
Investigators at the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab determined a variety of models of car the paint from the hit-and-run car could have come from, and police were able to pair that information with the 30-caliber carbine owners in the area. Detectives matched Walker with owning both a 30-caliber carbine gun and a car with a consistent paint type from the hit-and-run.
When police contacted Walker, he allegedly told officers enough information to arise suspicion for probable cause. Investigators have not released what Walker allegedly said. Speyer said more information will be released as Walker’s case moves forward.
Representatives for Conley’s family spoke at the Monday morning press conference, saying it’s important to not “lose sight” of Conley and the things she accomplished in her life as a projected trial begins.
“(Molly) is the reason we are here today,” the family representative said. “It is her life more than her death that we hope people will remember.”
Walker is a Boeing employee, according to court documents.