A 28-year-old man from Auburn was pulled over by Washington State Patrol near his home around 10:40 p.m. Thursday.
Troopers believe the suspect is linked to at least two of the shootings that happened in South King County on Wednesday night. They also think he was going to shoot more people after finding a gun, live ammunition, and a shell casing in his back seat.
“We have every reason to believe that he was leaving to go commit another series of shootings,” said Captain Ron Mead with WSP.
Authorities are investigating six shootings that all happened within three hours, from Tukwila to Algona.
The suspect left a man in critical condition, after allegedly shooting him in the neck. This incident happened on southbound I-5 near South 320 Street in Federal Way at about 9:30 p.m.
The victim is now in stable condition at Harborview Medical Center.
Authorities say the same suspect shot at another car on northbound I-5 near South 200th Street in SeaTac. No injuries were reported in that case.
Captain Mead believes these were random attacks with no motive.
“Why somebody would choose to take a firearm and just shoot at random people on the freeway? It is mind-boggling and troubling, and you know hopefully, it remains isolated,” he said.
With the help of victim descriptions and traffic cameras, troopers were able to track down the suspect about 24 hours after the shootings.
“Something in it alerts that the vehicle is in a particular area which gives us sort of a starting point and that’s what happened last night in Auburn,” said Mead.
As for the other four shootings that night, authorities have concluded that one was not related.
This brings the total to 48 freeway shootings that troopers are investigating this year so far. Last year, WSP investigated 54.
“We’re awaiting ballistic results which may connect the suspect beyond the two shootings we have arrested them for, to other shootings that we are investigating and additional shootings that allied agencies may be investigating,” Mead said.
The 28-year-old suspect was booked into King County jail.
On Tuesday, there was a court hearing to address bail. King County prosecutors argued he should remain in jail on $1 million bail. The court set bail at that amount.
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