13-year-old identified in Federal Way shooting, police investigating as a homicide

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — Federal Way police have opened a homicide investigation after finding a body in a park near the 37200 block of 20 Avenue South.

A.J. Brown, an 8th grade student at Einstein Middle School, was identified as the victim by the school in an email sent to families.

“The type of neighborhood you look to move into,” said David Lopez. He and his wife Ashlee moved into the neighborhood nearly a year ago with their two kids. “It’s the type of neighborhood where you look to raise your family,” he says.

What they thought would be a quiet community changed overnight, when they say they were awoken around 3:30 a.m. by a loud noise that sounded like a gunshot.

“Immediately after that I heard three more,” said Ashlee Lopez.

After checking with neighbors and knowing the police had already been called, the couple went back to bed. It wasn’t until the next morning when Ashlee Lopez was taking her daughter to school, when she made a horrific discovery.

“We pulled out of this driveway and I noticed something on the grass in the park,” said Ashlee Lopez. “I got out of the car and walked over until I was just a couple of feet away, and saw that there was some blood on the gentleman’s face.”

“We have a 16-year-old and a 12-year-old, so to see somebody the same age as our son lying on the ground like that in a violent way is tragic,” says David Lopez.

Police have not yet released any information on the shooter.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay for Brown’s funeral expenses.