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Shooting rocks neighborhood

Federal Way police process a Dodge Magnum for evidence Thursday after a shooting near Alderdale Park, near Southwest 340th Place and 26th Avenue Southwest. Two teens were injured and two fled the area after what police believe was a drug deal gone awry.  - Kyra Low/The Mirror
Federal Way police process a Dodge Magnum for evidence Thursday after a shooting near Alderdale Park, near Southwest 340th Place and 26th Avenue Southwest. Two teens were injured and two fled the area after what police believe was a drug deal gone awry.
— image credit: Kyra Low/The Mirror

Two teenagers were sent to the hospital suffering from gunshot wounds Thursday after what police believe was a drug deal gone wrong near Alderdale Park, near Southwest 340th Place and 26th Avenue Southwest.

At approximately 2:36 p.m. four gunshots were heard, neighbor Max Snyder said.

“There were four shots right behind me — boom, boom, boom, boom,” he said.

Two victims — one 19-year-old black male from Kent and one 17-year-old black male from Federal Way — were hospitalized. The older male was sent to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with life-threatening injuries, Federal Way police spokesman Raymond Bunk said. The younger male may have left the scene seeking help before arriving at the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Cathy Schrock, police Supports Services and Records manager, said. The men’s current medical condition was unknown Thursday evening, Bunk said.

Three helicopters and a police K-9 team searched the area for two suspects who fled on foot. As of press time, police were looking for a 5-foot-10 black male with a slim build, wearing a white shirt, red baseball cap and blue jeans and a 5-foot-6 black male wearing a Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls jersey, red T-shirt and black shorts. Neighbors reported the males appeared to be in their teens.

Police processed a navy Dodge Magnum for evidence. It was unclear Thursday how the vehicle is linked to the shooting, Bunk said. A red vehicle was also seen in the area around the time of the shooting, neighbors said.

Several neighbors feel the incident was months or years in the making.

“This was bound to happen,” Debbie Snyder said. “I see cars with shady-looking characters (near the park).”

For the past three years, neighbors have suspected drug deals were taking place in and around the park, neighbor Ken Philbrick said. It was almost a nightly thing, he said.

Snyder has lived in the neighborhood since 1987, but has only, within the past few years, noticed problems. Snyder and several neighbors regularly call police about the issues, she said. Another neighbor living nearby the park, who preferred not to give her name, heard the gunshots shortly after her children arrived home from school. The presence of gunshots and crime seem to have increased in the past five months, she said.

“We’ve been hearing a lot of gunshots in this area,” she said.

Police were not able to say if the park is known for its crime. It was not known if drugs were recovered at the scene. But police believe all those involved knew one another.

“We don’t believe this was a random act,” Bunk said.

He was unable to give any information as to whether the incident may have been gang related or if the suspects were considered armed and dangerous. As a precaution, Decatur High School and Brigadoon Elementary were put on lock down.

Police encourage anyone with information about the shootings to call 911 immediately.

Contact Jacinda Howard: jhoward@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

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