Two men dead, four injured after Lake Sammamish State Park shootings

July 17, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

Officers from four law enforcement agencies blocked the entrance to Lake Sammamish State Park after the Saturday shootings. By Warren Kagarise

Park will be closed Sunday as detectives gather evidence

UPDATED — 1:05 a.m. July 18, 2010

A shooting at a party in Lake Sammamish State Park left at least two men dead and another four men injured after gunshots shattered a summer Saturday evening.

The shootings occurred at about 9 p.m. — as dusk settled over the popular Issaquah park. Sgt. John Urquhart, King County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said investigators did not yet know if the victims had been bystanders or other shooters. Though early reports tied the shootings to gang activity, Urquhart refused to confirm details about the incident.

Urquhart said at least three of the injured men had been transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He did not know the hospital where the fourth wounded man had been taken.

By 12:30 a.m. Sunday, two of the men were in satisfactory condition at Harborview, UW Medicine spokesman Brian Donohue said. Another man was listed in serious condition.

Police had taken at least two men believed to be shooters into custody after the incident. Urquhart said, all told, authorities detained at least six and up to 10 people for questioning about the incident.

Investigators also recovered a car with several guns inside the park, as well as a gun near the scene. Investigators believed the suspects had stashed several guns in the park immediately after the shooting.

Police detained shaken park goers inside the park in the hours after the shooting, as investigators raced to the scene to question possible witnesses and suspects.

A group of 20somethings leaving the park at about 10:30 p.m. described hearing popping noises and believed the sounds to be fireworks — only to recognize the noise as gunfire. The park goers described hearing as many as 15 shots.

Urquhart described the scene in the park as “chaotic” during and after the shootings. He said a park goer barricaded him- or herself in a park restroom during the shootings.

Washington State Patrol dispatchers received a call at about 9 p.m. to report a shooting in the park. In the aftermath, four police agencies — the state patrol, sheriff’s office and police departments from Issaquah and Bellevue — descended on the lakefront park.

Law enforcement agencies received several 911 calls from terrified park goers. A park ranger called the state patrol to report multiple shots fired; a shot could be heard in the background during the call, Trooper Cliff Pratt said late Saturday.

The sheriff’s office had a helicopter in the air to search for possible suspects in the chaotic moments after the shooting, but Urquhart said the search had been called off after nightfall, because authorities believed to have taken the shooters into custody. Police dogs also searched the park after the incident.

“We’ve got four agencies out here,” Urquhart said. “Everybody has scooped up at least one suspect.”

Police cordoned off Northwest Sammamish Road as flashing lights from emergency vehicles blazed in the darkness. Vehicles started to trickle from the park just before 11 p.m.

The park closes at dusk, and investigators expected to spend most of the night processing the crime scene. Lake Sammamish State Park will be closed Sunday as the sheriff’s office gathers evidence and diagrams the area.

A Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission spokesperson could not be reached for comment late Saturday.

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14 Responses to “Two men dead, four injured after Lake Sammamish State Park shootings”

  1. Dick on July 18th, 2010 12:06 am

    Sucks to live over there…
    And I thought White Center was dangerous.

  2. Dan on July 18th, 2010 1:24 am

    Actually Dick, living in Issaquah is awesome and very safe. Crazy things happen. The community is shocked. So don’t generalize and say it sucks to live here.

  3. John on July 18th, 2010 8:03 am

    Try driving down Front street in Issaquah at 26 MPH and you will quickly learn how much law enforcement we have around here. We love our town.

  4. Jennifer on July 18th, 2010 8:28 am

    Yes, I agree Dan, …Issaquah is a wonderful place to live. In fact, it is my favorite town in the whole world. I grew up there and went to school in Issaquah, and now am in Florida. I would do anything to move back. I have been back as recently as 2 months ago, and could not get over how much Issaquah has grown from the days of the one-red-light town. ……It is terrible something like this has happened, at beloved Lake Sammamish St Park. However, this one single incident will not shadow Issaquah/Sammamish in the years to come. Issaquah, still, …. will always be, a wonderful and beautiful place to live!

  5. Sue on July 18th, 2010 8:49 am

    I think they should pass out guns and let these idiots kill each other off. Save the taxpayers money ship the trash back to their parents and let them deal with what they didn’t deal with when they were growing up…. RIP no goods!

  6. Amy on July 18th, 2010 9:01 am

    I could hear it from my boat… scary.

  7. me on July 18th, 2010 9:18 am

    how come no pictures of the suspects,its only a matter of time before the garbage from the city infects the outlying areas,now there out here,bout time to get the hell out.cant go to the ef”n lake without worrying about that

  8. Bill on July 18th, 2010 9:35 am

    Look like the medias covering up for the criminals again they seem to have missed the who again

  9. Diane M on July 18th, 2010 11:30 am

    Folks, use your parks. Picnic, BBQ, gather and bring your friends and relatives.

    These are our parks, we are invested in our community. We use the boat launch
    at Sammamish frequently and it’s always crowded with families trying to get on and of the water. We walk our dog at the park and bring a picnic dinner during the week.

    Use it or lose it. Sammamish is a wonderful park and what happened last night is wake up call to all of us.

  10. Anonymous on July 18th, 2010 11:37 am

    you people are nuts

  11. Anon. on July 18th, 2010 11:42 am

    The Issaquah police need to focus on the kids doing crack and shooting up on heroin down the trail, rather than the people going 26 MPH on 2nd.

  12. Investigators recover guns in Lake Sammamish State Park, release details about victims : The Issaquah Press – News, Sports, Classifieds in Issaquah, WA on July 18th, 2010 1:58 pm

    […] Sunday afternoon, as King County Sheriff’s Office detectives combed the park for evidence from deadly shootings there Saturday […]

  13. Two dead, four wounded at Lake Sammamish State Park – Seattle Times | The Fresno News on July 31st, 2010 1:00 pm

    […] ParkSeattle Post IntelligencerSheriff: 2 dead, 4 hurt in WA state park shootingContra Costa TimesTwo men dead, four injured after Lake Sammamish State Park shootingsIssaquah PressNorthwest Cable News -Newsday (subscription) -CJADall 288 news […]

  14. Extra Credit-Warren Kagarise (The Issaquah Press) « MJ's Blog on April 19th, 2012 4:36 pm

    […] shared another experience that happened nearly a year later when a gang shooting had taken place at the Lake Sammamish State Park. Thanks to Twitter, Kagarise and other Issaquah […]

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