BURIEN, Wash. — 911 tapes released Thursday from Wednesday’s shootings along SR-509 reveal drivers bewildered that they had been fired upon, and one witness may have spotted a suspect.
Four cars were struck by bullets while driving south near Sea-Tac Airport around 1:45 p.m., but luckily no one was injured.
One woman, Mary Ertl, called 911 just after pulling over with a gun shot through her windshield.
“Somebody shot at me on 509!” she told the dispatcher.
“What makes you say someone shot at you?” the dispatcher asked.
“Well, I have two bullet holes in my windows and then a man pulled over behind me… and somebody shot at him too. (The bullet) went through my windshield and my side window.”
“Did you hear any gunshots?” the dispatcher asked.
“All heard was a ‘pow’ when it went through my windshield and glass was everywhere,” Ertl said. “It’s from the side of the road.”
Another driver, Mike Luiz, told dispatchers he had heard a loud noise.
“And something hit the car and I thought it was a rock,” he said. “When I got to my office, I could see a bullet hole in my door.”
As troopers and SWAT team members shut down the freeway and swarmed the area looking for the shooter, a witness came forward to 911 to describe a possible suspect he spotted coming up the onramp from SR-509 to S. 188th Street. He described the man as white, in his 40s or mid 50s with a thin build, wearing shorts and a yellow backpack.
“Thought it was weird since no one really runs from the freeway, so thought I would call,” he told dispatchers. Troopers have not released any kind of official suspect description or information.
Meanwhile, investigators spent Thursday searching the area with metal detectors, looking for evidence the gunman may have left behind, including shell casings.
“We believe the shooter was in the tree line on the east side of the freeway, and the vehicles were traveling southbound,” said Trooper Rick Johnson. “So the shots were fired across the northbound lanes into the southbound lanes where the vehicles were struck.”
Investigators hope to find surveillance video from neighbors and nearby homes. They’re also asking people behind the wheel if they have dashcam or GoPro video of the area of the shooting.
“We really want to get this individual into custody as quickly as possible,” Johnson said.
They admit they worry the shootings could happen again and that’s why they want to get the person off the street.
“It really was a miracle that no one was injured,” Johnson said.