Police locate Issaquah gunman’s abandoned car at airport

September 30, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6:15 p.m. Sept. 30, 2011

Port of Seattle police located Issaquah gunman Ronald W. Ficker’s abandoned car in a Seattle-Tacoma International Airport parking garage Friday, ending a six-day search for the missing vehicle.

Investigators started searching for Ficker’s silver Hyundai Accent not long after the gunman died in a hail of gunfire from Issaquah police officers Sept. 24. Ficker  rented a similar vehicle — a silver Kia Forte sedan — and drove to Issaquah.

Investigators said Ficker, 51, rented the Kia sedan at 11. a.m. Sept. 23 from a Seattle car rental counter near the airport. Police said he put about 450 miles on the vehicle before he abandoned the sedan at a downtown Issaquah intersection. (The vehicle has California license plates.)

Ficker abandoned the Kia in a downtown Issaquah street at 11:11 a.m. after the vehicle ran out of gas. The shootout between Ficker and Police started at 11:39 a.m. on the Clark Elementary School campus. The gunman died at the scene.

On Wednesday, sheriff’s office investigators asked members of the public to help police locate the Hyundai registered to Ficker.

Police do not yet know how Ficker spent the hours between the rental and the shootout, but a city police officer contacted him alongside the stalled Kia on Interstate 90 near the Issaquah Highlands exit at 9:39 a.m.

Ficker told police the vehicle had run put of gas, and he intended to get gas to refuel.

The officer cleared the call at 9:43 a.m. and logged the incident, and then left the scene.

Investigators said the Kia ran out of gas again at 11:11 a.m. on Front Street South at Newport Way Southwest in front of the Julius Boehm Pool. Ficker abandoned the vehicle, and set off across downtown Issaquah, carrying a pair of rifles — a .22-caliber rifle and a .30-30 rifle. Police said he also left a crossbow outside a vehicle door and a gas can by the rear of the car.

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