Kent residents affected by gun violence praise police drug bust, arrests

KENT, Wash. -- For the past four months, Jonathan Rickerson has been replaying the night his 19-year-old friend, who he says was more like a brother to him, was shot and killed.

“We all were crying. I was in tears when I got the phone call.  He was really close to me, real good friend, good person, everything,” said Rickerson.

The shooting happened in February outside of a Chevron gas station off 240th Street SE in Kent.  King County Sheriff’s Office Air Support Unit searched for a suspect but didn’t make any arrests.

Fast forward to Wednesday and the news of nearly 40 people being arrested in one day -- 80 people over four months -- for drugs and guns from Snohomish to Pierce counties. It gives Rickerson hope he won’t have to keep up with more memorials.

“Justice needs to be served for what happened. Clean up the streets. That’s a big relief to hear that,” said Rickerson.

One family thinks drugs and shootings go hand in hand.  They think their neighbor was dealing drugs out of this apartment building and then got into a shootout and one of the bullets went through an exterior staircase and right into their apartment.

“A bullet came and I got scared,” said Guneet Kaler.

The Kaler family was just sitting in their living room in their Kent apartment when that bullet went right over their grandmother’s head.

“We went outside the window and people were calling police and I immediately called my dad,” said Kaler.

“After the investigation, then they let me come in,” said Harjinder Kaler.

Kaler was relieved to learn his family wasn’t hurt, but the bullet holes from a year ago still remain as a grim reminder that gun violence doesn’t just affect the people involved.

“I heard 40 people are arrested today, that’s great. Forty people are a lot of people, which means that we have a lot of bad people,” said Kaler.

Police say they’re not done finding more bad people and putting them behind bars.