Kent Police suspect gang dispute in West Meeker Street fatal shooting

Kent Police are looking into the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old boy last month near West Meeker Street as an apparent gang-related dispute.

Roberto Matamoros-Izaguirre died at the scene from a gunshot wound, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. Matamoros-Izaguirre attended Kent-Meridian High School until he withdrew in February 2016, according to an email from Principal Wade Barringer.

Police are still looking for the suspects in the 12:16 a.m. April 18 shooting near a service station at West Meeker Street and 64th Avenue South. The shooters also injured a 16-year-old boy.

“Two (teens) are in the alley way behind the 76 station hanging out having a smoke,” Assistant Chief Rafael Padilla said during an update about the shooting at a community forum April 26 to address recent teen shootings. “Three unknown subjects come through the fence line that leads to the Bonel trailer park – they call it the cut – say something to the effect of ‘what’s up, homie?’ and they open fire. The first juvenile that gets shot, gets hit in the back, the neck, and a bullet goes through the top his skull and he lives. The second unfortunately does not survive his injures and dies right there at the scene.”

The injured 16-year-old had been involved in another shooting the previous week, Padilla said. He was not injured in the first shooting but his friend was.

At about 7:25 p.m. on April 9, the boys were walking near Madison Street and West Smith Street in downtown Kent, when they decided to use the portable toilet at a nearby park.

“They come out of the porta-potties, they hear gunshots and one of them gets hit in the leg,” Padilla said.

So far, police have few leads in the April 9 case.

“There’s no information in terms of suspects seen, different descriptions of what type of car,” Padilla said. “We canvass the area. We look for casings. There wasn’t a lot that came out of that. There isn’t a lot that came out in the particular investigation.”

Both shootings appear to be gang related, Padilla said.

“Each of them mentions beefs with other gangs,” Padilla said. “Unfortunately, what is similar is we are not getting a lot of information, and we’re not getting a lot of cooperation. We desperately want to solve these crimes. We desperately want to bring justice for the victims and the families, but we can’t do it alone. … We really want to be a part of the solution but we need some help.”

Reporter Heidi Sanders contributed to this article.

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