Teenager charged in shooting death of Edmonds girl

A boy brought a gun to Gala Zuehlke’s home, documents say. “Yo, look what I got,” he said. She died moments later.

Gala Zuehlke

Gala Zuehlke

EDMONDS — A teenage boy accused of shooting a 17-year-old Edmonds girl is charged in adult court with first-degree manslaughter.

The boy pleaded not guilty Dec. 7, and a Snohomish County judge raised his bail to $500,000.

Gala Zuehlke, an Edmonds-Woodway High School senior, was fatally wounded at her home on Nov. 30. An obituary described her as a “creative and caring person” who loved art and wanted to become a teacher. She planned to attend Skagit Valley College next year.

Charging papers describe in further detail how the boy, 16, allegedly brought a gun to Zuehlke’s apartment.

He reportedly told police that he got the gun — a .44-caliber revolver with a black grip — from another friend’s apartment. He said he rifled through a dresser, saw the gun and knew he wanted it. It looked powerful, he reportedly said.

The boy later went to Zuehlke’s apartment and showed her and her friend the revolver.

“Yo, look at what I got,” he said, and pointed the gun at objects around the room, according to court papers.

He aimed the gun at Zuehlke’s friend and pulled the trigger, he told detectives. The gun clicked, moving the bullet closer to the chamber. The girls told him to take out the bullet, records show. He said nothing would happen.

The boy allegedly said he wanted to see their reactions. He said he figured it was safe because he thought the bullet was at the bottom of the cylinder.

Then he aimed the gun at Zuehlke, he said. The bullet struck her in the face. The boy has said it was an accident.

The county medical examiner determined that the shooter must have stood 1 to 3 feet away from the girl, based on details at the scene.

What happened afterward was panic.

The boy went into hiding. He said he thought about leaving the state to “start over.” Zuehlke’s other friend ran back to her own home a half-mile away, where her father called 911.

Detectives were tipped off that the boy might be catching a ride to Oregon. They found him three days later at a friend’s house.

They asked him where the gun was. He said he took a rideshare to Darrington and threw it off a bridge and into the river, according to the charges.

After obtaining a search warrant, however, police say they found a gun like the one he described. It was inside the couch at his friend’s house.

The boy’s next court hearing is set for January.

An allegation of first-degree manslaughter means a person is accused of causing a death through recklessness. Under Washington state law, anyone 16 or 17 facing that charge generally is transferred into adult court.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A big decision for Boeing’s next CEO: Is it time for a new plane?

As Boeing faces increased competition from Airbus, the company is expected to appoint a new CEO by the end of the year.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Two workers walk past a train following a press event at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Trains up and running on Lynnwood Link — but no passengers quite yet

Officials held an event at the Lynnwood station announcing the start of “pre-revenue” service. Passengers still have to wait till August.

Nedra Vranish, left, and Karen Thordarson, right browse colorful glass flowers at Fuse4U during Sorticulture on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A promenade through Everett’s popular Sorticulture garden festival

Check out a gallery of the festival’s first day.

Left to right, Everett Pride board members Ashley Turner, Bryce Laake, and Kevin Daniels pose for a photo at South Fork Bakery in Everett, Washington on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Second Everett Pride aims for even bigger rainbow of festivities

Organizers estimated about 3,000 people attended the first block party in Everett. This year, they’re aiming for 10,000.

Firefighters respond to a report of a “mushroom cloud” at a home in the 2800 block of 81st Street NE. on the Tulalip Reservation on Tuesday, June 18, 2024.  (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
1 suffers burn injuries in Marysville house fire

Around 2:30 p.m., firefighters responded to a report of a mushroom cloud coming from a home at 27th Avenue NE and 81st Street NE.

A Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplane test its engines outside of the company's factory on March 11, 2019 in Renton, Washington. Boeing's stock dropped today after an Ethiopian Airlines flight was the second deadly crash in six months involving the Boeing 737 Max 8, the newest version of its most popular jetliner. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images/TNS)
Boeing lost track of up to 400 faulty 737 Max parts, whistleblower says

The claims were detailed in a Boeing inspector’s complaint on June 11 and made public by a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 squeeze starts now between Everett, Marysville

Following a full closure for a night, starting late Sunday, Highway 529 will slim down to two lanes for months near the Snohomish River Bridge.

Ryan Stalkfleet, left to right, and Kenny Hauge, members of the OceanGate submersible crew, explains the vehicles features and operations to Bill McFerren and Kiely McFerren Thursday afternoon at the Port of Everett on December 16, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Everett sub disaster forces global rethinking of deep sea exploration

A year after the OceanGate disaster, an industry wrestles with new challenges for piloted submersibles and robotic explorers.

People board the Mukilteo ferry in Mukilteo, Washington on Monday, June 3, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Washington’s ferry system steers toward less choppy waters

Hiring increases and steps toward adding boats to the state’s fleet are positive developments for the troubled agency.

Dave Calhoun speaks during a 2017 interview in New York. (Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg)
Boeing CEO apologizes for quality and safety issues at Senate hearing

Before the Tuesday hearing, a congressional subcommittee accused Boeing of mismanaging parts and cutting quality inspections.

School board members listen to public comment during a Marysville School Board meeting on Monday, June 3, 2024 in Marysville, Washington. Rinehardt is seated third from left. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Marysville school board president resigns amid turmoil

Wade Rinehardt’s resignation, announced at Monday’s school board meeting, continues a string of tumultuous news in the district.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.