Police ‘still stymied’ in murder investigation of Kent man

Kent Police are still trying to develop leads into who and why someone shot and killed a 27-year-old Kent man Aug. 19 outside of his apartment.

Kent Police are asking for help to find who shot and killed Arnulfo Gomez-Vazquez (above) Aug. 19 outside his apartment.

Kent Police are asking for help to find who shot and killed Arnulfo Gomez-Vazquez (above) Aug. 19 outside his apartment.

Kent Police are still trying to develop leads into who and why someone shot and killed a 27-year-old Kent man Aug. 19 outside of his apartment.

A press conference two weeks ago about the killing of Arnulfo Gomez-Vazquez led to a few tips but no new information, according to a Tuesday email from Kent Police Lt. Pat Lowery.

“We have continued to interview and re-interview persons that knew the victim though we have yet to develop a suspect or motive for the attack,” Lowery said.

Gomez-Vazquez was shot outside of his apartment at the Somerset Apartments, 10900 S.E. 255th Pl., on the East Hill. Gomez-Vazquez died of a single gunshot wound shortly after being shot. He answered a knock at his apartment door, stepped outside, closed the door behind him and had a short conversation with someone.

Detectives are asking for people to come forward with information about the case.

“It’s still our belief that there are persons out there that have knowledge of this event and can fill in some of the blanks,” Lowery said. “However, we’re still stymied by who they might be.”

Debbie Hernandez, of Kent, a sister-in-law of Gomez-Vazquez, appeared before television cameras at the Aug. 26 press conference at Kent City Hall to ask the public for help to solve the case.

“Each of the tips were reviewed and investigated, though none produced any new information,” Lowery said.

Detectives are reviewing cellphone records in an effort to identify something tangible, Lowery said.

Gomez-Vazquez moved to Kent from Mexico about four years ago, according to Hernandez. He worked here to support his wife and two children, a daughter, 10, and son, 3, who remained in Mexico. He worked as a landscaper.

So far, police have not found anything in the background of Gomez-Vazquez that turned up anyone who might have a grudge against him. Lowery said it was not a gang-related shooting. Detectives also are not calling it a random shooting because they believe Gomez-Vazquez knew the person outside his door and that’s the reason he stepped outside to talk.

A case with no leads becomes more difficult to solve as days and even weeks go by.

“Staleness is something that we are always aware of,” Lowery said. “As time goes by, witnesses and others with knowledge become less influenced by the crime and so the trail can go cold.”

Anyone with information about the case can call the Kent Police Tip Line at 253-856-5808 or Puget Sound Crime Stoppers at 1-800-CRIME13 and be eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for tips that help lead to an arrest.

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