KING COUNTY, Wash. — Prosecutors heaved a sigh of relief Friday after a Superior Court judge raised the bond of the man police say targeted a Renton police officer, to half a million dollars.
“We only argue for a million plus dollars bail when we think there is a serious danger to the community,” said Casey McNerthney, director of communications for the King County prosecuting attorney’s office.
Investigators say it was just before 5 p.m. Tuesday when an officer stopped at the intersection near Talbot Road and South Grady Way, and two men pulled up in a red Kia and opened fire.
“Turned out to be a pretty fair amount of gunfire. We recovered I think 15 casings in the parking lot there,” Renton Police Detective Robert Onishi said.
Police said the shooter is 24-year-old Frankie Robertson of Kirkland, and he was charged with several crimes, including a drive-by shooting.
They added that 23-year-old Lamonta Steward of Seattle was behind the wheel, and he was charged with rendering criminal assistance.
The officer was able to duck for cover and escape injury when bullets hit her patrol car while she was parked at a gas station.
In a statement to the Renton community, Police Chief Jon Schuldt wrote, “This was an unprovoked attack which I can only assume the intent was to kill the officer. It is only by the grace of God that the officer or any community members were not seriously injured or worse in this attack.”
Despite prosecutors asking for Robertson’s bail to be set at $1 million, pro tem Judge David O. set it at $50,000.
That elicited a statement from the Renton Police Chief which reads in part: “They do deserve their due justice afforded them by our justice system, but a high bail ensures that they would stay incarcerated pending that process.”
“There was enough information there that we believed we could argue, we thought successfully, for a million dollars bail,” McNerthney said.
Police said Robertson is also suspected of targeting a Washington state patrol trooper earlier this year in Tukwila.
Investigators used his DNA to link him to both shootings after they recovered his hat and gun from the Tukwila scene.
When it comes to the low bail, prosecutors said they weren’t sure why the district judge ruled as he did.
“There wasn’t a paperwork lag. I can tell you that with certainty,” McNerthney said.
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