Two women face criminal assistance charges in Kent bar shooting

Man fled after wounding girlfriend at Gator’s Sports Bar in November

A Kent woman and a Seattle woman each face charges of first-degree felony rendering criminal assistance for allegedly helping a man flee a Kent sports bar in November where he shot and injured his girlfriend.

King County prosecutors charged Jessika Lynn Sorensen, 27, of Kent, and Jalissa N. Johnson, 30, of Seattle, in May for their apparent role to help Joseph A. Lasseson get away on Nov. 18 from Gator’s Sports Bar and Grill, 21609 84th Ave. S., according to court documents.

Shortly after the shooting, prosecutors charged Lasseson, 28, of Federal Way, with first-degree assault, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and domestic violence felony violation of a court order for his actions at the bar, according to court documents.

In January, Lassesson fatally shot himself inside a relative’s home in Auburn after Kent Police, Valley SWAT and Auburn Police surrounded the residence, according to a report by Washington’s Most Wanted Q13 Fox News.

If police had taken Lasseson into custody, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Christina P. Miyamasu had requested bail be set at $500,000 because of his extensive history of domestic violence, including convictions for fourth-degree assault in 2017, tampering with a witness in 2010, harassment in 2008 and attempted malicious mischief in 2008. Lasseson had 13 prior orders for the protection of the Gator’s shooting victim, two other women and one man under 10 case numbers, Miyamasu said.

Sorensen and Johnson each missed their arraignment hearings on May 24, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. A King County Superior Court judge issued a bench warrant for the arrest of both women after they failed to appear in court following charges filed on May 11.

On Nov. 18, numerous patrol officers arrived at Gator’s after reports of a shooting on a late Friday night, early Saturday morning. The victim told an officer that her boyfriend and father of her child had shot her during an argument. Paramedics transported the woman to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where she underwent emergency surgery.

A woman friend of the victim was with her in the bar. That friend suggested that they all go back to her boyfriend’s house to continue a birthday celebration and made the statement, “you know where he lives.”

Lasseson apparently overhead that comment and became angry that his girlfriend knew where the friend’s boyfriend lives. The two started to argue and then Lasseson reportedly removed his gun from the victim’s purse, pushed it up against her throat and then shot her once in the stomach. He then put the gun back in her purse.

Sorensen and Johnson were each at the bar and friends of Lasseson. After the shooting, Sorensen reportedly picked up the purse and walked to the front of the bar to meet up with Johnson, according to court documents. Sorensen left the bar with Lasseson and walked to a nearby Nissan Altima driven by Johnson. They left the bar along 84th Avenue South at a high rate of speed.

Detectives reviewed video surveillance from the bar that showed Sorensen picking up the purse with the gun. Video also showed Johnson driving her two friends away after the shooting.

Video surveillance footage from the bar captured the shooting from numerous camera angles, according to court documents. The victim sat at a small table against the west wall near the pool tables. Lasseson stood next to her and could be seen taking a small black pistol out of the victim’s purse and pressing it against the victim’s neck for about three seconds before shooting her in the stomach. The victim fell off the chair and onto the floor.

While Sorensen has no known criminal history, according to court documents, Johnson has a lengthy record. Her criminal history includes convictions for theft (2017), assault 2015), hit and run (2015), resisting arrest (2016) and 10 more theft convictions between 2013 and 2016. She has had 38 warrants since 2012.

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