Two escape all-night manhunt

Teens suspected of shooting at deputy near Lake Stevens


Herald Writer

LAKE STEVENS — Two teen-agers suspected of shooting at a Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy remained at large Friday night after an extensive manhunt disrupted traffic and school and shattered residents’ peace of mind.

Law officers across the county are on the lookout for the two 17-year-olds, who were armed with handguns and at least one rifle or shotgun.

The manhunt began after a deputy on routine patrol tried to stop a car he spotted driving erratically on Inglewood Drive about 1:18 a.m., sheriff’s spokeswoman Jan Jorgensen said.

Instead of yielding, the car sped away, leading the deputy on a brief chase south on Highway 9. During the chase, one of the teens used an open sunroof to stand and fire two shots at the deputy. The deputy was not injured.

The driver lost control of the car at Williams Road and 20th Street SE in the Lake Stevens area, Jorgensen said. The car ran off the road and crashed. Deputies arrested two girls in the car, one of them 13 years old. The two boys, who were armed, fled on foot.

Deputies closed 20th Street SE from just east of Highway 9 to Machias Road at Machias cutoff until about 9:30 a.m. while they scoured the area with the assistance of the SWAT team, a K-9 team, the sheriff’s helicopter and King County’s Guardian One police helicopter.

"I was totally freaked out," said Sharon Wilson, who lives near the crash scene and was awakened about 3:30 a.m. by a call from the sheriff’s office to let her know about the manhunt.

"There were all these SWAT guys in the yard looking in the bushes," Wilson said. "All you could see was their eyes. There were at least three sheriff’s cars across the street shining their lights on our property, so I felt like we had our own security system right there."

They told her not to worry, but to lock her doors, turn her inside lights off and her outside lights on, and stay inside. The helicopters bathed her home in light.

"That’s when I asked them if the two guys were armed and dangerous, and they said yes," she said.

Wilson gathered her two older children in her bedroom, where they remained unable to go back to sleep. Her youngest child, 5, asleep in the next room, was unaware of the ordeal.

At daybreak, Wilson put her chocolate lab Jake on a leash and took him outside "because I thought he needed to pee. I was out there for a few seconds and one of the cops said, ‘GO BACK INTO YOUR HOUSE,’ and I did."

She was unaware that officers were continuing to search her property after finding footprints in a field behind the house, she said.

"I felt really good about the sheriff’s office and the fact that they let me know and they were so good," she said.

Sheriff’s investigators described the car’s driver as a white male, 6 feet 1 inch tall, 190 pounds, with red hair and blue eyes. He has a tattoo of a cross on his left hand and arm, "VL" tattooed on his right ankle, and a scar on his head. The passenger was a white male, 6 feet tall, 150 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Both teens have extensive criminal histories.

Detectives ask anyone with information on the pair to call 911 immediately.

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