Neighbors say gang activity rampant where two teens were killed in Burien

BURIEN, Wash. –Investigators on Thursday were searching for clues after two teenagers were shot and killed in Burien Wednesday night.

Officials from the King County Sheriff’s Office and the medical examiner’s office have yet to identify the two victims but deputies believe the shooting could be related to local gangs.

Neighbors began dropping off flowers where two teenage girls were gunned down at the Alturas apartment complex on SW 139th Street, near Ambaum Boulevard SW.

The city of Burien contracted with a company to paint over gang tags – city officials say they made the call Wednesday only hours before the shooting.

“Five years I’ve lived here,” said resident Roxane Steele. “There’s been a shooting every year.”

The wall of one apartment building still showed the damage from flying bullets.

One resident told Q13 News his brother sleeps in the room where bullets flew through the walls. He was at work during the shooting, otherwise the bullets would have flown right past his head.

“I just kind of went into tunnel vision of the victims and what to do to help and just jumped into my role,” said one neighbor who identified herself by only her first name, Taava.

She says she has medical training and tried what she could to help the victims.

“Applied pressure to one of the gunshot wounds and checking her pulse to see if I could start CPR but I didn’t. It just didn’t feel like she was going to make it and she didn’t.”

Another resident and mother of two was so afraid for her safety she asked Q13 News to conceal her identity. She, too, is tired of the violence and would like to move.

“All these little kids want street credit,” she said. “They want to act tough and show it off, it gets you nowhere especially if you’re not part of the gang.”

Investigators believe the shooting suspects may have left the scene in a car after the shooting Wednesday night.

The sheriff’s office says the public should be assured there will be extra patrols in the area to help keep the peace.

On Thursday night, the city of Burien issued a statement about the shooting.

“Our thoughts are with the families of these two young people,” City Manager Brian Wilson said. “If anyone has any information to share, please come forward. Law enforcement will not ask your immigration status.”

“We will not tolerate this type of violence,” Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta said. “We don’t want to bury any more children.”

The city said it is had requested additional law enforcement support for its upcoming after-school and late-night programs, at least for this week.

A candlelight vigil was scheduled to take place to honor the victims at 7 p.m. Thursday.