Kent Police detain two men in connection with South 212th shooting deaths | Update

Two men were shot to death at about 8:40 a.m. Tuesday in the parking lot of the Shell gas station on South 212th Street. - Dean A. Radford/Kent Reporter
Two men were shot to death at about 8:40 a.m. Tuesday in the parking lot of the Shell gas station on South 212th Street.
— image credit: Dean A. Radford/Kent Reporter

Kent Police, as of late Wednesday afternoon, had detained two men and impounded two vehicles, in connection with a shooting that killed two men at about 8:40 a.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of the Shell gas station at the southwest corner of South 212th Street and 64th Avenue South.

"We have two detained and are trying to determine their involvement in the case," Kent Police spokesman Jarod Kasner said. "We have also impounded two vehicles to process them for possible involvement."

Kasner said at a media briefing near the Shell store that detectives followed up leads gathered from witnesses about a suspect.

"The information we have is dynamic in how this will resolve itself," Kasner said. "We need to be judicial in how we disseminate our information so that we are sure on the leads that we follow and the resources we push towards those leads are effective."

Two witnesses told reporters what they saw.

"I saw two guys in a black Cadillac with the passenger getting in a fight with someone else at the front door of the Shell," said Alan, who asked that his full name be withheld, as he pulled into the station for gas. "The driver noticed the fight going on, reached in his front seat and pulled a gun out, went over to the front door where the fight was going on and started shooting and shot two people.

"I believe the one guy (shot) was fighting with the passenger and I think the other guy (shot) was trying to break it up. After he (the driver) shot him, they ran back to the car and took off."

The witness said it appeared the men in the Cadillac wanted to start something with others at the store.

"It seemed like they were looking for a fight for someone to stare at them wrong and pick a fight about," he said.

He described the Cadillac as a four-door with spare donut tire on it.

Kasner wouldn't confirm the make of the car. He described the suspect as an "adult male fleeing the scene in a dark-colored car. We don't know the true make of the car. We don't know the relationship of those involved."

Ryan Riess, of Kent, makes daily stops at the store to buy an energy drink before heading to work. He said the two men shot were each employees at the store.

Kasner wouldn't confirm whether the men worked at the store.

"Their black Cadillac was backed in sideways," Riess said of the suspect's vehicle. "It was crazy and all happened really fast. I don't know if it was (an argument about) how they were parked or loud music. It was an argument turned into 'I'm going to shoot you,' turned into another guy fist fighting and the (store) manager came out and was breaking it up and the other guy came in and started popping off shots."

Riess said the men in the Cadillac were getting gas. He said one man was pumping gas as the other man argued with a store employee, a clerk, right outside the store entrance.

"I was outside but when the guy came with a gun I jumped inside," said Riess, who estimated he heard eight to 10 shots fired. "I'm crawling toward the Wendy's. There were so many shots fired I didn't know if he was shooting random people."

Riess said the man with the gun said to the men he shot, "I just got out of prison, I'm not afraid to shoot you."

Kasner said witnesses talked about a dispute.

"There was mention of a dispute, confirming how it played a part in how the event turned out is still being investigated," Kasner said.

It doesn't appear the two men who were shot were targeted.

"At this time it appears to be a random act but I can't confirm because we don't know the true details of the full event," the police spokesman said.

Kasner said he couldn't really reveal many details at this time.

"This type of investigation, we would like to release the information," he said. "We're using it for our benefit as well as the victims' benefit to capture the people responsible.

"We have gathered some evidence and there is still evidence out there we are processing. There are several leads and we have detectives out on the street following up on leads we have obtained, evidence techs are on scene and the fingerprinting department as well."

Kasner said he didn't have the ages of the victims or the number of shots fired. The King County Medical Examiner's Office is expected to release the identification of the men on Thursday or Friday.

"The reports were multiple shots," he said.

Kasner also wouldn't say whether police have a license plate number for the suspect's car.

The Shell store and station and Wendy's restaurant on the property all remained closed as police taped off the crime scene.


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