Boy arrested in homicide of Edmonds girl, 17

Gala Zuehlke was shot to death in Edmonds. A teen was arrested for investigation of murder Monday.

EDMONDS — A Mountlake Terrace teenager was arrested Monday for investigation of killing an Edmonds-Woodway High School senior.

The girl was found shot to death at an apartment Friday in the 7400 block of 208th Street SW, according to police. She was identified as Gala Zuehlke, 17, in a school-wide letter sent out Saturday, with the permission of her family.

“Gala was a senior this year and a full-time e-Learning student, after having attended Edmonds-Woodway over the past two years,” Principal Terrance Mims wrote. “Gala is remembered fondly by both staff and students as a warm and friendly young woman.”

The letter said she died at her home.

Edmonds police have declined to release details about the killing, or any possible motive.

Gala and the boy knew each other, Edmonds police Sgt. Josh McClure said.

At the apartment Friday, detectives had “received varying degrees of cooperation from those still at the scene,” according to a news release. Crime technicians with the Washington State Patrol processed evidence over the weekend. The death was determined to be a homicide by the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Police searched for a boy, 16, who was wanted for questioning. Officers tracked him down Monday in the Canyon Park area. He was arrested without further incident for investigation of second-degree murder. He was expected to be booked into the Denney Juvenile Justice Center.

Three people — two boys and a woman — were interviewed as well. Police plan to recommend they be charged with rendering criminal assistance. They were not booked into jail, McClure said.

Originally, police suggested the shooting was likely accidental, but added they hoped to find and interview the 16-year-old. The handgun used in the homicide hasn’t been recovered.

Detectives asked anyone with information to call 425-771-0212, or email policetips@edmondswa.gov.

Classmates and school staff, meanwhile, were mourning the death.

Grief counselors were available at Edmonds-Woodway this week.

“When things of this nature occur, feelings of shock, sadness, fear and anger can very easily well up inside of us,” Mims wrote. “These emotions may come and go throughout the day — even for days to come, while some may not seem to have any reaction at all. We do not always know how a student will be affected at a time like this, but you can help your child simply by listening and talking with him or her.”

Herald writer Zachariah Bryan contributed to this report.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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