Kent Police try to determine who shot Devin Topps
By STEVE HUNTER
Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter
November 3, 2010 · Updated 8:52 AM
Many questions still remain as the Kent Police try to figure out what led to an argument, fight and the shooting death early Sunday of Devin Topps, 18, a former Kentridge High School student-athlete.
But police do not believe whoever shot Topps went after him specifically.
"There is nothing to indicate he was targeted," said Kent Police Sgt. Pat Lowery during a Tuesday phone interview.
Topps, of Kent, left a Halloween party at about 2 a.m. Sunday at a home in the 20200 block of 92nd Avenue South in northeast Kent. Topps walked out with other partygoers and encountered a group of males standing in the street outside the home, according to police.
Police have not yet identified any suspects, but are starting to piece together what happened that night.
A verbal argument started among Topps and others and quickly escalated to blows being exchanged, according to police. It was during that fight that a gun was discharged several times.
Topps fell to the ground momentarily, then arose and fled to his truck parked nearby. Upon reaching his truck, he collapsed once more. He remained by his truck until police and fire personnel arrived and found him dead.
Topps died from a gunshot wound to the back, according to the King County Medical Examiner's Office.
Detectives are trying to determine the reason for the argument and fight.
"We've heard a lot of different things," Lowery said. "That's another piece to sort out."
It appears Topps and his friends did not know the males who approached them.
"We don't think so," Lowery said. "It looks like this randomly occurred and took off from there once they started arguing."
Police have statements from people they interviewed at the scene. But they want people who left the scene to come forward.
"We're really hoping more people call in to fill out the picture," Lowery said. "Think of it like a snapshot that has been cut into a jigsaw puzzle. Each person brings a piece and we are getting one piece at a time."
Police are uncertain how many people attended the party, how many people left with Topps or how many males approached Topps and his friends.
"We're still putting that information together," Lowery said. "What started out as four in the groups is now sounding like more."
Topps played football and basketball at Kentridge. A 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker/running back, Topps accepted a full-ride scholarship and signed a letter-of-intent in February to play for Eastern Washington University this fall. Topps did not enroll at Eastern because of a lack of credits.
Anyone with information about the shooting should call the Kent Police at 253-856-5800.Contact Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter Steve Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-872-6600, ext. 5052.