Police continue investigation into deadly shooting at Kent gas station

A memorial emerges for David Christianson, the Shell Station manager, and Carlos Gonzalez, the store
A memorial emerges for David Christianson, the Shell Station manager, and Carlos Gonzalez, the store's clerk, who were shot and killed in the parking lot Wednesday morning. Police arrested a Burien man for the shooting.
— image credit: Mark Klaas, Kent Reporter

Employees stood shocked, subdued in front of a Kent Shell gas station early Friday morning. They paused in silence, glancing at a flower- and photo-embraced memorial for 52-year-old David Christianson and 20-year-old Carlos Gonzalez, the two men killed in Wednesday's shooting.

The gas station – at the southwest corner of South 212th Street and 64th Avenue South – reopened Friday as Kent Police continue to investigate the shooting deaths of the store's two employees in the mart's parking lot.

Kent Police arrested Leland D. Russell, 29, Wednesday night in Burien for shooting to death the two men.

A King County Superior Court judge set bail at $2 million Thursday for Russell, who is being held at the King County jail in Seattle.

During an interview with detectives after his arrest, Russell admitted to shooting both men, according to court documents. Russell, who is Hispanic, said the dispute started after construction workers at the service station said racial slurs to him and his friend, a black man he identified as "Sac."

At this time of the investigation, Russell was the only shooter, according to Kent Police. Detectives have identified the second subject, known as Sac, who was at the scene and are actively looking for him. He is wanted for questioning.

Detectives seized the black Cadillac that was used during the incident and is being processed for potential evidence.

Police used surveillance video from the Shell station, both external and internal cameras, to help determine what happened. The video showed a brief verbal and physical argument between the two victims and a black man. Then Russell appears to retrieve a firearm from a black Cadillac and shoots the two men at close range. The men died at the scene.

Russell also was booked into the county jail May 25 for investigation of burglary and harassment in Seattle, according to jail records. He was released two days later on $50,000 bail.

Christianson, the gas station manager, leaves behind behind his partner of 11 years and two adult daughters.

Gonzalez worked as a clerk at the station.

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