Bullet narrowly missed toddlers hours after teen killed in drive-by

MARYSVILLE -- Could the details of two other drive-by shootings be the key to solving a 15-year-old girl's murder in Lake Stevens?

Molly Conley, a freshman at Seattle's Bishop Blanchet High School who was celebrating her 15th birthday, was shot dead in a random drive-by shooting as she was walking with friends in Lake Stevens Saturday night.

As part of that investigation, Snohomish County sheriff's detectives are looking two other reported drive-by shootings in the county that night.

One happened in Marysville about three hours after Conley was shot in Lake Stevens.

“I heard five gunshots, so right away I ran and checked on my kids,” said Marysville resident Michael Cavanaugh,

One of five bullets pierced the ceiling of his children’s bedroom, missing the sleeping kids by about six feet.

“It scarred me emotionally; my kids were in that room,” said Cavanaugh.

The other bullets damaged four cars parked outside Cavanaugh’s home on 105 th Street Northeast. Since then, detectives have canvassed his house for any evidence.

“They have retrieved three of the bullets out of five,” said Cavanaugh.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t know if the Marysville shooting is linked to Conley’s murder.  But they say they are not ruling anything out. So far it’s been a frustrating tragedy with no suspect description and no good leads.

On Tuesday, scanner audio from Saturday night’s drive-by shooting became available.

“We don’t know if it was a car that drove by, or if the shot came from the bushes; we are gonna have one black,” a police officer can be heard saying on the scanner audio. His reference to "black" meant a fatality.

Conley, a 4.0 student, was shot in the neck as she was walking with friends along South Lake Stevens Road, where there is a growing makeshift memorial.

“It’s not very safe here anymore,” said Lake Stevens resident Ryan Bentz.

Several miles away from the memorial, on 61st street, Bentz was sure he heard up to eight gunshots about 90 minutes after Conley’s shooting.

“I am pretty sure it’s not fireworks; it was way too loud, I heard pop, pop, pop, pop, pop,” said Bentz.

Meanwhile, Cavanaugh wonders if the bullets at his house will match the ones at the scene of Conley’s shooting.

Detectives were back in Lake Stevens on Tuesday with metal detectors looking for more evidence.

“Hopefully they can find the people who did this,” said Cavanaugh.

Conley was buried Tuesday. There is $1,000 reward for any tip that leads to an arrest.