Federal Way’s citizens are in uproar over three fatal shootings, which occurred from Monday, May 9th, to Tuesday, May 10th. Currently, police have no leads on the shooter(s) but are adamant on taking the necessary measures to find out more information regarding the crimes.
The Federal Way Police Department advises citizens to use good safety precautions when leaving their homes or places of work. Kathy Schroek, a Federal Way officer, recommends residents “keep their doors locked including the garage,” and, “if you need to go out at night, don’t do it alone or on streets that are not lit well.”
The first of three murder victims was Federal Way resident Alex Kelley. Frank Cohens, a Tacoma resident, was the second victim to have been killed. Adam Gutierrez, also from Tacoma, was the last victim.
26-year-old Kelley was shot on his front porch while smoking a cigarette. Police found Kelley with a gunshot wound to his back at the Arcadia Townhomes in the 1300 block of SW Campus Drive. He was pronounced dead on-scene.
On Monday, May 9th, at 11:37 pm, Cohens, the second victim, was found dead. Police found Cohens slumped over in a vehicle on the 2200 block of South 333rd St. He was believed to have been involved in drug activity prior to the shooting.
Gutierrez was the third victim and his death occurred at approximately 11:10 pm on Tuesday, May 10th. The police state that there is no apparent motive for the shooting of 30-year-old Gutierrez. He was on a run with his dog when he was murdered.
Federal Way’s homicide rate has moved from two to five in 2016 after the three recent homicides. During the same week there was also a fourth shooting which led to a 21-year-old man being wounded in a car with another passenger.
Federal Way community members gathered and vocalized their fears at a City Council public safety meeting on May 12th, and sought answers and information about the murders. Schroek says the Federal Way Police Department have given information to crime-stoppers and issued advertisements across the city.
For the Adam Gutierrez case, $17,000 will be rewarded for any information leading to an arrest. Information leading to an arrest regarding the two other murders are currently priced at $1,000 each.
The Police Department has also implemented extra patrols and diverted traffic units into patrol and detective units to put towards the investigations. According to Schroek there are five additional officers in the patrol division.
Many UW Tacoma students live in Federal Way, including first-year student Rosanna Vinton. Due to the murders, cops have recommended that residents stay indoors past dusk. Vinton says that the “change in mood throughout the city is eerie. Everyone’s scared they’re gonna get shot.”
UW Tacoma Alumni Tushara Jon, who also lives in Federal Way, hopes that “no one else gets shot and no one gets hurt.”
Schroek and the rest of the police department advise citizens to stay safe by locking their doors and staying indoors at night.