Renton Police at the crime scene June 5, in the 600 block of Grady Way, where a man fatally shot Hazrat Ali Rohani, 17, a Kent-Meridian High School student. COURTESY PHOTO, Renton Police

Renton Police at the crime scene June 5, in the 600 block of Grady Way, where a man fatally shot Hazrat Ali Rohani, 17, a Kent-Meridian High School student. COURTESY PHOTO, Renton Police

Second Kent-Meridian High School student in 3 days fatally shot

Hazrat Ali Rohani, 17, killed June 5 in shooting outside of Big 5 Sporting Goods in Renton

Another Kent-Meridian High School student was fatally shot this week, the second in a three-day period.

Hazrat Ali Rohani, 17, of Kent, died after a shooting Wednesday evening, June 5 in the 600 block of South Grady Way in Renton. Kent-Meridian Principal David Radford confirmed the death of Rohani in a June 6 email to school parents and families.

“I’m deeply saddened to inform you of another tragic passing of one of our students,” Radford said in the email provided to the Kent Reporter by a city resident. “As some of you may have seen the news on Wednesday evening, June 5, Hazrat Ali Rohani was involved in an altercation in Renton, which tragically ended in loss of life. Our thoughts are with his friends and family during this sensitive time.”

Renton Police arrested a 51-year-old Newcastle man for investigation of second-degree murder. Rohani and two other 17-year-olds were walking toward a Big 5 Sporting Goods store to return a handgun-style BB gun when the armed suspect reportedly got out of his vehicle and confronted the trio, according to Renton Police. There was an altercation that turned physical, and the suspect allegedly shot Rohani multiple times.

Rohani died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the June 7 report by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

On Monday morning, June 3, Cristopher Medina Zelaya, 18, also a Kent-Meridian student, was fatally shot in the city of Kent’s Campus Park parking lot, which is next to the school campus. As of Friday morning, June 7, Kent Police have not made any arrests and have released few details about the incident.

Zelaya died of a gunshot wound of the head into the neck, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, which ruled the death a homicide.

Additional counselors and staff were made available Friday, June 7 on the school campus to support students who need additional help processing this loss, Radford said.

Radford shared strategies in the email for parents to use to help their children understand the tragic loss and cope with their feelings. The tips are from the National Parent Teacher Association:

• If possible, maintain your composure. Kids model behavior.

• Keep to your normal routine. Children need a sense of stability.

• Talk about the tragedy in an age-appropriate manner. Be patient.

• Help children to express their feelings. If they don’t know the words to state how they feel inside, try to help them put their feelings into words and/or use creative ways of communicating, such as through art, writing, or music.

• Listen. Ask questions.

“As a close-knit community here at Kent-Meridian, we will support each other through this challenging period with resilience and solidarity,” Radford said. “Again, our hearts and thoughts go out to the affected family, friends, staff, and all members of our KM community.”

Kent-Meridian has its graduation on Saturday, June 8 at the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent.


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