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Stray bullet kills woman in Burien gun battle, suspects still on the loose

Burien deadly shooting

BURIEN, Wash. - Investigators said a receptionist in a chiropractic office in Burien was killed by a stray bullet Wednesday afternoon.

Deputies and medics responded to the scene at the chiropractic clinic in the 15200 block of 1st Avenue South and tried to save the 51-year-old victim but she later died.

King Co. deputies said a gun battle broke out across the street on 152nd Street when four men in a car opened fire on a 39-year-old man who had just picked up his 15-year-old son on foot from Highline High School.

Neither the man nor his son here hit but the 51-year-old receptionist sitting behind the front desk of the office was killed.

The single stray shot is all it took to shatter the life of a beloved wife, mother and grandmother who the Burien mayor knew for decades.

"Any tragedy like this is hurtful, it's not normal to lose a loved one,” said Mayor Jimmy Matta. "I'm very heartbroken. Somebody I've known for 20 years, somebody that knows my children and I know her children."

Flying bullets narrowly missed two friends who were trying to get food at a nearby restaurant.

"I keep thinking it could have been me. It could have been Davy. It could have been any regular person walking around today and it's terrifying,” said Nik Paulson.

“To be out at 3 p.m. in the middle of the day and just have shots flying by me is kind of kind of a scary thing,” said Davy Wilson. “I’m lucky to be alive today.”

Four suspects fled the scene and remain at large.

Deputies said they were still trying to figure out if the shooting was gang-related, but warned this type of violence is unacceptable.

“No idea why they’re shooting at each other but I can’t think of a reason that would make it worth something like this and worse off take somebody’s life,” said King County Sheriff Sgt. Ryan Abbott. “Especially somebody that’s just working and a bullet goes through the window and kills her. It’s absolutely horrible.”

Investigators said the man who was targeted in the shooting was cooperating with deputies

Deputies said the shooters got away in an SUV, but they don't have a description.


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