ENUMCLAW — Police have identified two “persons of interest” in the February shooting of a 7-Eleven clerk in Edmonds.
A 23-year-old Enumclaw man and a 24-year-old Auburn woman were taken into custody Sunday morning after an hours-long standoff at a house on the eastern border of the Muckleshoot Reservation.
Both were arrested on warrants from the Department of Corrections. The man reportedly has 10 felony convictions, the woman one.
Police obtained a warrant to search the house on Sunday and plan to soon search a vehicle that was impounded.
“We do feel like we have taken a huge step in ensuring the safety of the public,” Edmonds police Sgt. Josh McClure said at a media briefing following the arrests.
Police believe the man and woman are connected in some way to the shooting of Nagendiram Kandasamy in the morning of Feb. 21.
Dramatic store security video shows a man run into the 7-Eleven at 8101 238th Street SW, jump on the counter and take aim — likely at Kandasamy, who is off-screen. The shooting itself was not included in video released to the public, but police said the encounter lasted less than 20 seconds. A customer found Kandasamy on the floor around 5 a.m., unresponsive and bleeding. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office later determined he died from a gunshot wound. He was 64.
Agencies from across Snohomish and King counties, as well as the Washington State Patrol, searched the area but couldn’t find a suspect.
Initially, there was little information about who the man in the video was, or what his motive could be. He wore a red-and-black jacket and obscured his face. Police first reported that he was white, but later said they couldn’t be sure. There was a vehicle seen near the 7-Eleven in security video taken around the time of the shooting, but the footage was of such poor quality that police couldn’t identify the make and model with certainty.
Nothing was stolen, McClure said.
In the weeks after the shooting, detectives used what evidence they had, including more than 100 tips from the public, and traced the man and woman to a home in the 40100 block of 180th Avenue Southeast, near Enumclaw. Edmonds police did not release what information led them there.
Taking into account their criminal history, and reports that they might be armed, the North Sound Metro SWAT team was called to the scene around 11 p.m. Saturday night. A white Nissan at the house matched the vehicle seen in the security footage.
The man and woman barricaded themselves inside the house for hours, McClure said. They didn’t respond to police announcements or emerge when police used tear gas.
Around 4 a.m., the SWAT team made their way into the house with a police dog, and arrested the man and woman in the garage without incident.
“They didn’t listen to the SWAT team, and they didn’t listen to the gas, but they did listen to the police dog that was barking at the door,” McClure said. “And it was that point they decided they were just going to give up.”
As the investigation continues, Edmonds police are still asking the public for help. Now that arrests have been made, McClure said he hoped people are more willing to come forward with information. Tips, which can be anonymous, may be directed to the department at 425-771-0212, through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.edmondswa.gov/police/anonymous-tip.html.