Police officials investigate a shooting at Daleway Park Tuesday afternoon in Lynnwood on April 4, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Police officials investigate a shooting at Daleway Park Tuesday afternoon in Lynnwood on April 4, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Lynnwood gunman gets 28 years in fatal shooting of senior bystander

Raven Lonewarrior, 24, and Leif Smith, 22, were sentenced in the fatal shooting of Daleway Park park visitor Carl Bridgmon, 70.

EVERETT — Two men responsible for an attempted drug deal that ended with a 70-year-old bystander shot to death in Daleway Park were sentenced last week to starkly contrasting prison terms.

Superior Court Judge Paul Thompson ordered Raven Lonewarrior to serve 28 years behind bars Thursday after he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the slaying of Carl Bridgmon, 70.

On Friday, Thompson sentenced Leif Smith to 5 years for possession of marijuana with intent to manufacture or deliver — the maximum allowed under state law, taking into account what’s known as a “deadly weapon” sentencing enhancement.

Prosecutors initially charged Smith with first-degree murder. But late last year, Smith pleaded guilty and prosecutors dropped the murder charge when he agreed to help police investigate his accomplice.

Lonewarrior’s defense attorney Christine Olson declined to comment.

Lonewarrior, now 24, and Smith, 22, were selling marijuana to teenagers, both 18, in Lynnwood at the time of the incident.

Around 2 p.m. April 5, 2022, Smith arranged a drug exchange with two teen boys in Daleway Park at 19015 64th Ave., charging papers said. Lonewarrior accompanied Smith to the meet up.

At the exchange, one of the boys met with the defendants in their black sedan while the other stood outside, according to the charges. In a police interview, the boys said Smith was in the driver’s seat and Lonewarrior was in the rear passenger seat. One of the teens asked Smith if he could see the bag of marijuana to determine its quality, but told investigators the man was “acting weird” and wouldn’t let him, charges said.

After an argument broke out, the two men attacked the teenager, according to the boy’s account.

The boy screamed for help from his friend standing outside the car. He broke free from the vehicle and the two teens ran, according to court documents.

As the teens fled from the car, Lonewarrrior got out and fired 12 rounds from a Cugir Draco 7.62×39 mm gun. The defendant missed his intended targets, instead fatally striking Bridgmon, who was parked in his vehicle nearby. Police found the gun belonged to Smith, court documents said.

Witnesses reported seeing the sedan drive away from the scene, according to the charges.

Officers arrived in the parking lot to find Bridgmon deceased in the driver’s seat of a black Chevrolet Impala. There were several bullet holes in the driver’s side door and in several other nearby unoccupied vehicles.

Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Bridgmon died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Lynnwood police found Bridgmon witnessed the struggle before the shooting. He began filming with his phone and eventually caught his own death on camera, charging papers said.

It took weeks for police to track down the suspects. In May 2022, police arrested Smith as he drove away from his Marysville home. Five months later, investigators arrested Lonewarrior.

Bridgmon frequented the small forested park near Highway 99 several times a week, according to a statement from his family. He liked to enjoy a cup of coffee there.

“There are few cases with a more sympathetic victim than Mr. Bridgmon,” deputy prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “He was a 70-year-old retiree enjoying a sunny, spring afternoon in a community park. He is the prototypical innocent bystander.”

Maya Tizon: 425-339-3434; maya.tizon@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @mayatizon.

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