SAMMAMISH, Wash. — Detectives are hoping to catch a car prowl suspect they say is responsible for killing the son of a Seattle cop at a Sammamish park.
The incident happened at Beaver Lake Park Wednesday afternoon.
“This whole dog park community is so sorry,” Virpi Winnemore said.
Winnemore placed flowers at the site where the young man, believed to be in his early 20s, lost his life.
“It’s horrible, you come and take your dog for a walk, you never come back home,” Winnemore said.
The victim is the son of a veteran Seattle police officer, the Seattle Police Department said Wednesday night. The victim's name has not yet been released.
On Thursday, a woman who knows the victim showed up to the crime scene devastated over the loss.
She did not want to be identified but said the victim was funny, vibrant and kind. She called the victim’s parents wonderful people. The King County Sheriff’s Office says the victim and his girlfriend, who were walking his dog, witnessed someone smashing into his sedan so the victim confronted the suspect.
“I don’t want anybody to jump to the conclusion that he took matters into his own hands,” sheriff's Sgt. Cindi West said.
Detectives say the suspect got into a gold SUV and tried to run down the victim so the victim fired his gun. Witnesses say they heard 6 to 7 shots and then a scream. Detectives say the young man died after the SUV hit him and dragged him for 50 yards.
“It appears as though he was defending himself,” West said.
The violence follows a rash of car prowls plaguing people in Sammamish. There have been six car prowls at Beaver Lake Park in just the last few weeks.
“Police say it’s been happening not at this park but all the parks in Sammamish,” resident Marcus Chiu said.
It’s also happening right in front of people’s homes.
Lena Brown says in 10 seconds a thief got away with her son’s iPad and her sense of security.
“I saw the person had already smashed the window,” Brown said.
Detectives say many times a small number of thieves are responsible for a large portion of the car prowls.
Detectives are asking for witnesses to call in with tips and for the public to keep an eye out for that gold SUV with possible bullet holes in the front.