‘He ran for his life trying to save himself’: Family seeks justice after teen killed in Federal Way shooting

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – Law enforcement in Seattle and South King County have been busy this week investigating three deadly shootings in less than 24 hours.

One man was shot and killed in Seattle’s Rainier Valley overnight while another man was shot in Burien.

Earlier on Tuesday, a 19-year-old man was shot and killed in Federal Way in what police describe as a targeted drive-by shooting.

In Federal Way there have been 10 homicides within the past year; the city’s police department said it averages six homicides a year.

A woman claiming to be a cousin to the murdered 19-year-old spoke with Q13 News Wednesday afternoon. She requested her identity be concealed, saying she feared for her safety.

“There’s just no words that we can use right now to describe what we’re feeling,” said the victim’s cousin. “I don’t wish this to happen to the person that shot him or anyone."

Federal Way police said the 19-year-old man was gunned down in an apparent drive-by-shooting, adding he had just gotten off a bus.

“He still ran for his life trying to save himself,” said his cousin.

Then two more shootings happened only hours later; one in Seattle on Rainier Avenue and another on Aubaum Boulevard in Burien.

Seattle police arrested one suspect but said it is still looking for two more.

“I think it’s drug dealing, I think it’s probably drug-related and they have a lot of customers in the tents,” said South Seattle Crime Prevention Council President Pat Murakami.

Murakami believes relaxed attitudes in Seattle about unauthorized homeless camps have emboldened criminals to operate in the open; she believes the three shootings could be connected to the region’s homeless problems.

“It’s beyond the pale,” she said. “We’ve never seen anything like that in terms of volume in such a short period of time.”

“You could get caught in the crossfire,” said Federal Way resident Patrick Schmeichel.

His bus stop is adjacent where the teenager was gunned down; now he said he’s looking for a new way to commute.

‘It’s enough to make me reconsider my route, my daily route,” he said.

Detectives are looking to see if the three shootings are connected or gang-related.

Anyone with information in the cases were asked to call police.