2nd suspect arrested in shooting outside Graham high school
GRAHAM, Wash. - A second suspect has been arrested and the getaway car has been located in the Tuesday afternoon shooting of two students outside Graham-Kapowsin High School, Pierce County sheriff's officials said Wednesday.
Authorities also believe they may be close to identifying the final remaining suspect, said Ed Troyer of the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.
The Pierce County Prosecutor's Office says it is planning to charge the two suspects in custody as adults. Both are 17 years old.
The two students were shot outside the high school at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. One student was found in the parking lot by the football field. A second was found in the locker room.
Troyer said investigators got a break in the case overnight when an officer spotted the suspected getaway car and linked it to a residence in Tacoma. Deputies then went to the residence and took the second suspect into custody. The first suspect in the shooting, a 17-year-old boy, was tracked down and arrested on Tuesday.
The third suspect, shown wearing a purple shirt in a photo released by investigators, remains at large. Troyer said he knows authorities are looking for him and his best course of action would be to turn himself in, since it is inevitable that he soon will be found and arrested.
The two suspects now in custody, both 17 years old, will appear at a court hearing Wednesday, said James Lynch II of the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office.
Court documents filed Wednesday say the shooting apparently happened outside the school at the scene of a prearranged fight between one of the two suspects under arrest and another student at Graham-Kapowsin High School. The two reportedly had a disagreement after the suspect's girlfriend and another girl got into an earlier altercation.
The suspect arrived at the scene at the scene of the prearranged fight in a car with the second suspect and the third at-large suspect. They got out and there was a verbal confrontation but no physical fight.
The three suspects then got back into the car. Court files say the at-large suspect then pulled out a gun and fired multiple rounds, hitting the two student victims - but not the student who had arranged to meet up for the fight.
One of the victims was shot in the leg and made it to the locker room of the school. The other student, who was found in the parking lot, was shot in the lower left side of his abdomen. He required surgery to the bladder, leg, kidney and intestines.
The high school and other nearby schools then went into lockdown as students ran back to the campus.
"There's a lesson to be learned here - especially nowadays," Troyer said. "If you're going to go to a fight or a prearranged fight, there's a strong possibility that somebody has a gun. And if shots are fired and that person is not trained to use that gun, they'll continue to move until they hit somebody ... and unfortunately you can become a victim."
He also said that anyone who is inside a vehicle from which a gun is fired will be held as accountable as the one who pulls the trigger.
The two injured students underwent surgery on Tuesday and are both expected to recover.
Troyer said the investigation into the shooting is being complicated by the fact that some students and witnesses are intentionally giving detectives false and misleading information. But he said investigators have able to sift through the conflicting stories and put together confirmed information.
Pierce County detectives are asking anyone who knows the whereabouts of the third suspect to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.