• Neighbors worried after recent shootings, violence at Kent's Springwood Park

    By: Michael Spears

    Updated:

    Surveillance video obtained by KIRO 7 shows a man running for his life, dodging bullets in an attempted carjacking and shooting that Kent police said happened Monday evening next to Springwood Park. 

    The shooter, who police believe is a minor and possibly connected to a larger group of underage criminals involved in dozens of purse snatchings around Puget Sound, fled and the man he shot at luckily wasn’t hit.

    It’s one of several shootings and acts of violence at or around Kent’s Springwood Park in recent months, according to police and neighbors.

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    “Heard the gunshots, saw the car pull off,” said Terry Bonet, who’s fairly new to the Kent neighborhood.

    Bonet, like other neighbors in the area, is worried about the recent crime.

    “That’s my biggest fear – is that a stray bullet; you just don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Bonet. “Lately there's been so many, so who knows; so I've asked my daughter to kind of stay away, you know, from the front of the house."

    Concerned neighbors, like Bonet, attended Tuesday’s Kent City Council meeting because of the violence, including a shooting last month at the park that injured one man, according to police. 

    Bonet said she emailed Kent’s mayor about her concerns following Monday’s attempted carjacking. The Mayor said at Tuesday’s council meeting that she’s taking neighbors’ concerns seriously.

    “There’s at least five incidents that have happened in the past 90 days that we know of,” said Bonet. “Had I known that it was going to be like this, we probably would not have bought in the area.”

    In response to the violence, Assistant Kent police chief Jarod Kasner said the city planned to move a surveillance camera to the park, which currently does not have any. The police department said it also moved two bike officers to patrol the park and surrounding area.

    Police believe the shooter in Monday’s carjacking is a minor and possibly connected to a larger group of mostly underage criminals who are using stolen rental cars to commit dozens of purse snatchings at stores around Puget Sound like Costco and Trader Joe’s.

    "These juveniles know that the system is a little on the soft side or weak when it comes to prosecution, so they are exploiting that,” said Kasner.

    Kent Mayor Dana Ralph said she’s been in talks with King County prosecutors over “grave” concerns she has that criminals are not being prosecuted. She has sat down with KIRO 7 before to express those concerns about repeat offenders.

    "Words are only words,” said Bonet. “I want to know that they're going to take action."

    Police said they have not yet made arrests in the two most recent shootings in the Springwood Park area.

    Contact Kent police with tips related to those investigations.

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