A 31-year-old Seattle man driving Thursday night along southbound Interstate 5 in Kent suffered a gunshot wound in the lower back after someone from another vehicle fired 10 rounds at his vehicle.
“We have had eight shooting incidents in the past couple weeks and have no reason to believe any are connected,” said Washington State Patrol Trooper Rick Johnson, spokesman for District 2 that covers King County, in an email.
The shooting in Kent happened at about 11:30 p.m. near South 260th Street, Johnson said. The man drove to the ampm store off of South 272nd Street near Pacific Highway South and called 911. The man said he had no description of the suspect vehicle. Paramedics transported the man to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with non-life-threatening injuries.
This marks the second freeway shooting in two days along I-5 in the Kent-Tukwila area.
The State Patrol arrested a 37-year-old man for investigation of first-degree assault after he reportedly fired a shotgun from a vehicle that shattered the passenger window of another driver Wednesday morning along northbound I-5 near Interurban Avenue South in Tukwila.
On Dec. 29, someone in a vehicle shot and killed 20-year-old James Richardson as he drove along State Route 509 in Seattle. Detectives are searching for the shooter.
When asked about the reason for so many shootings recently, Johnson said he didn’t know.
“We do not have one at this time,” he said.
Road rage has led to several of the shootings.
“The State Patrol would like drivers to stay alert and drive with courtesy,” Johnson said. “Not all of these appear to be road rage type incidents, however, we want drivers to call 911 if they observe aggressive driving, dangerous driving and of course, if they see weapons being displayed. Of course, this goes for any road and not just the freeways.”
Kent Police are asking for the public’s help with information regarding a shooting that occurred during a road rage incident on Monday morning, Jan. 6, along 84th Avenue South near South 212th Street. A semi-truck driver, a 55-year-old Kent man, was shot and sustained non-life threatening injuries. The man who fired the shots from another vehicle fled the scene.
The reasons for a few of the freeway shootings remain unsolved.
“I have had no information from our detectives on if any of these are gang related,” Johnson said when asked about potential gang shootings. “We are looking for witnesses that can provide more details to further some of these cases in order to determine what they exactly entailed.”
State Patrol detectives are seeking anyone that may have witnessed the Kent I-5 shooting or observed the vehicles prior to or after the shots were fired. Witnesses can contact Detective Vik Mauro at 425-401-7746 or by email at Victoria.Mauro@wsp.wa.gov.