North Sound News

Grandmother of murdered Everett teen says death was gang-related

EVERETT, Wash. — The grandmother of an Everett teenager who was murdered late last month is seeking answers.

No one has been arrested in the Nov. 25 killing of Gabriel Kartak.

Everett is coming off a deadly week of violence, including the second shooting outside the memorial for the murdered teen.

The teen’s grandmother confirms her grandson’s shooting death is gang-related.

She was reluctant to say it but she concedes her grandson ended up dying because of his affiliation with gangs and the violence that accompanies.

Since he died, there have been two more shootings at his memorial.

Now she wants whoever shot and killed him found.

Kartak was just 17 years old when his short life ended in a hail of gunfire.

“I can’t understand it,” said Roseanna “JoJo” Grubbs. “I can’t fathom it. And he was about to have a baby. Two weeks out from having a baby, a baby he’ll never meet, a baby he’ll never see.”

The anger and pain his grandmother feels is still plain to see, some three weeks after he died.

“And there’s no answers,” said Grubbs. “Nobody has any answers for us. Nobody can say anything. Nobody can say who did what? Why? Where? All for nothing.”

The city of Everett is in the midst of what even police are calling an “unprecedented” spate of violence. Last week alone, eight shootings left seven men injured, including one who died.

There have been two shootings at the memorial for Kartak — the most recent one happened early Saturday morning.

“Oh, you heard the shots,” said witness Tony Greenlund. “There was no if, ands, buts about it. You heard the shots. They rang through the building.”

Greenlund was in a bar across the street.

“And then the guy ran down across the street and of course ran and hid because he’s trying to run from getting shot,” said Greenlund. “But he’s already been shot.”

He said his once quiet, tightknit neighborhood has become a war zone.

“And everybody’s just really tired of it,” said Greenlund. “We can’t do this anymore. It hurts.”

It has hurt Kartak’s grandmother, too.

“Seventeen years old, taken from all of us,” said Grubbs. “Because he had a whole lot of other family that wasn’t gang-related that loved him. Yet another victim and a statistic of the streets. Where does it end?”

Everett police said they have set up extra patrols in the areas where the shootings happened. They have also formed a regional task force to deal with the violence.

Anyone who has information about the people involved in the crimes is asked to call Everett police.

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