Three teens arrested in deadly shooting at Seattle homeless camp

Police have arrested three teenage boys in connection with a shooting at a Seattle homeless encampment that left two people dead and three others wounded.

The suspects — ages 13, 16 and 17 — were arrested Monday afternoon underneath an Interstate 90 off-ramp in Seattle, Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said.

“There are no outstanding suspects that we’re aware of,” she said.

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Shooting erupted on the evening of Jan. 26 at a homeless encampment in the city known as “The Jungle.” After the shooting, police said they believed it stemmed from a low-level drug-dealing dispute and that the suspects and victims knew each other or knew of each other.


O’Toole said at a news conference Monday that detectives worked around the clock to identify the suspects and that numerous scenes and a vehicle were searched. She said police believe at least two of the suspects fired weapons that night.

No other information on the suspects was immediately available.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray had high praise for law enforcement after the arrests.

“This violent crime shocked Seattle,” Murray said in a statement. “Thank you to the team at the Seattle Police Department for your professionalism in pursuit of this investigation, resulting in these three arrests. Our homicide investigators worked tirelessly to pursue leads and track down these suspects. We are also grateful for the efforts of our partners from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.”

The two people killed at the encampment have been identified as 45-year-old Jeannine L. Zapata and 33-year-old James Q. Tran. Both died of gunshot wounds.

The three people wounded, ranging in age from 25 to 45, remained at a hospital Monday with a man and woman in satisfactory condition, according to Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg.

She said the other woman wants to keep her condition private. Her condition last week was listed as satisfactory.

O’Toole said the city is continuing its assessment of the encampment, which is not authorized by the city, to determine what should be done at the site. Murray said last week that the encampment “has been unmanageable and out of control for almost two decades.”

In November, Murray and King County Executive Director Dow Constantine declared a state of emergency regarding homelessness, pledging more than $7 million to address the crisis.

The number of those living on the streets Seattle is rising, according to a one-night count done on Friday.


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