The Washington State Patrol arrested a 37-year-old man for investigation of first-degree assault after he reportedly fired a shotgun from a vehicle that shattered the passenger window of another driver Wednesday morning along northbound Interstate 5 near Interurban Avenue South in Tukwila.
A Tukwila man said he was entering northbound I-5 from Interurban Avenue South at about 7:12 a.m. when a light colored Toyota Corolla or Camry nearly hit him then proceeded to pull next to him while driving on the shoulder, according to a State Patrol news release. The driver displayed a shotgun and fired at the victim, shattering the right front passenger window and spraying shotgun pellets throughout the front of the vehicle. The victim was not struck by any of the pellets but suffered scrapes from the shattered window glass.
The Tukwila man told King 5 news that the driver nearly hit him while merging onto I-5, so he honked his horn and that’s when he says the driver of the other vehicle pulled out a shotgun and fired.
The suspect vehicle fled the scene of the shooting at a high rate of speed. The victim exited the freeway where he was contact by troopers and detectives. The victim was able to provide a partial plate on the suspect vehicle and a description of the driver.
During this investigation, a WSP communication officer was able to match the suspect vehicle description to a report of a shotgun brandishing that occurred approximately 30 minutes prior to the shooting. This brandishing was called in by a witness that was traveling on Interurban Avenue South and described the exact same vehicle driving erratically and brandishing a shotgun. The vehicle was described in both incidents as a light colored Toyota with damage to the rear bumper.
At approximately 4:40 a.m. on Thursday, Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle in West Seattle for traveling the wrong way down a one-way street. The male driver fled on foot and was subsequently taken into custody. A female passenger remained in the vehicle. A shotgun was also observed inside the vehicle during this traffic stop. An alert SPD officer listening to the radio traffic of this incident advised that media coverage of a shotgun shooting a day prior indicated that WSP detectives were looking for a vehicle similar to this in reference to a shooting the prior morning on I-5.
SPD contacted Washington State Patrol communications and a WSP detective contacted SPD investigators. Probable cause was developed by the WSP detective to file first-degree assault charges on the driver of this vehicle. SPD will be filing charges separately for possession of a stolen vehicle, DUI and obstructing.
WSP detectives are asking for anyone with any information on the shooting incident on I-5 on Jan. 8 to contact them even though the suspect is in custody. Please call Detective Vik Mauro at 425-401-7746 or send an email to Victoria.firstname.lastname@example.org.
There have been a number of shooting incidents on freeways in King County the past couple weeks, according to the State Patrol. State Patrol officials ask that drivers use the freeway system and any other roadways to stay vigilant and alert. Drive with courtesy in mind and be safe.