Shooter who opened fire on drivers near Sea-Tac still on the loose
With the shooter who opened fire near Sea-Tac still on the loose, Washington State Trooper Rick Johnson says the possibility of the person striking again isn’t out of the question.
“Obviously, that’s always on our mind,” he told Seattle’s Morning News on KIRO Radio.
Details about the shooter and the weapon he or she used to fire at several vehicles along State Route 509 are still vague.
SWAT teams completed a search for an “active shooter” on Wednesday in an area near Sea-Tac Airport after four vehicles were fired upon. One bullet entered the driver’s side of a vehicle and exited out the passenger’s side.
A second burst of gunfire was reported shortly after the initial incident.
Trooper Johnson says the area is safe now. However, he expects drivers will naturally be a little more cautious.
“We’re just telling drivers to be alert. I’m sure that people going through that area are going to, you know, be looking maybe more so than they were in the past.”
Both directions of SR 509 were closed for about five hours during the investigation and search for a suspect on Wednesday.
The vehicles were hit by bullets at around 1:30 p.m. near Des Moines Memorial Drive and South 188th Street, at the southwest end of Sea-Tac Airport.
A SWAT team from Renton was called to the site and completed a search of the area by 6:23 p.m. K-9 units also searched for explosives. King County Sheriff’s Guardian One helicopter was in the air above the scene looking for a shooting suspect over the afternoon and evening. Following the SWAT team, WSP troopers moved onto the southbound highway with K-9s to conduct their own investigation for any further evidence.
Johnson said investigators spoke with witnesses to clarify the timeline of events.
“There was an initial burst of gunfire, is what the witnesses said,” Johnson said. “And we are trying to figure out the lag time between that initial burst and more shots being fired.”
The western-most runway at Sea-Tac Airport was briefly closed and reopened around 6:20 p.m.
Four cars struck on SR 509
Trooper Johnson said that there were no injuries as a result of the initial shooting. Bullets pelted the vehicles and went through windshields, driver-side doors and windows. Some bullets lodged in car seats. The vehicles were traveling southbound at the time.
“We believe it was a static position; we don’t believe that the rounds were shot from a vehicle,” Johnson said.
Investigators believe the rounds were fired from the east side of SR 509, somewhere near the treeline.
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“One vehicle apparently left the scene and went to work (after the shooting). Another vehicle left and there’s two remaining,” Johnson said as police raced to the scene after the shooting.
The gunfire comes days after other seemingly random shooting incidents in Snohomish County. Fire department vehicles were struck by bullets, and police responded to other reports of gunfire in Lynnwood and Everett.