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Devin Topps murder: No arrests yet, but Kent Police anticipate solving case

Kent Police have yet to make an arrest in the shooting death of 18-year-old Devin Topps but fully anticipate eventually arresting a suspect and solving the murder.

"The investigation is still ongoing," said Kent Police Lt. Pat Lowery during a phone interview Wednesday. "We still believe we will make an arrest in the future and bring this to a successful resolution."

Police continue to seek tips from anyone who might know something about the case.

"Anybody with information is encouraged to contact us directly or through our tip line," Lowery said. "We can ensure their confidentiality if that is a concern."

People can call the tip line at 253-856-5808 or call detective Phil Johnson at 253-856-5800.

Lowery declined to discuss the specifics about any suspect in the case because of the ongoing investigation by detectives.

"We're trying to keep critical leads close to the chest so we do not want to put anything out there at this point that we are looking at a (certain) person," he said.

Topps, of Kent, a former Kentridge High School student-athlete, left a Halloween party at about 2 a.m. Oct. 31 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.

"We do know Devin was not targeted and it was not a gang-related shooting," Lowery said.

Topps died from a gunshot wound to the back, according to the King County Medical Examiner's Office.

"It started out as a physical fight that escalated into a gunfight where one had a gun and one, Devin, did not," Lowery said.

Topps fell to the ground momentarily, then got up and fled to his truck parked nearby. Topps reached his truck, where he collapsed once more. He remained by his truck until police and fire personnel arrived and found him dead.

Lowery said police have kept the Topps' family updated about what is going on with the case and why no arrest has yet been made.

"We are in close connection with the family and they understand about why the delay," Lowery said.

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. But he did not enroll at Eastern because of a lack of credits.

Nearly 1,000 people packed the New Beginnings Christian Fellowship church in Renton Nov. 11 for a two-hour funeral service for well-known athlete.

"We're confident we're going to get this resolved," Lowery said. "We just are not at that point yet."

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