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70-year-old bystander killed at Lynnwood park after drug deal gone wrong, police say

Carl Bridgmon was shot and killed in April while sitting in his vehicle at Lynnwood's Daleway Park. A 21-year-old was arrested in connection to the shooting Tuesday.

Editor’s note: The video above about the fatal shooting of 70-year-old Carl Bridgmon was originally published on April 12.

LYNNWOOD, Wash. – A 21-year-old man from Marysville was arrested Tuesday in connection to the fatal shooting of a 70-year-old man at a Lynnwood park in April.

Carl Bridgmon was shot and killed around 2:15 p.m. on April 5 while sitting in his vehicle at Daleway Park, which the retired man enjoyed going to often, according to his family.

The Lynnwood Police Department (LPD) said Bridgmon was an innocent bystander who was caught in the middle of an altercation between two 18-year-olds and two other individuals, one of whom is now in custody. Court documents show the shooting stemmed from a drug deal gone wrong.

According to probable cause documents, the two 18-year-olds, who have been identified and spoke with police, were attempting to buy $35 worth of marijuana from the individuals at the park before the shooting took place.

Court documents say one of the 18-year-olds got into the passenger seat of a black sedan to purchase the marijuana. The 21-year-old suspect was sitting in the driver’s seat and another suspect was seated in the backseat on the passenger side. 

The 18-year-old in the front seat “felt he was being scammed,” court documents say, and an argument began.

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During the argument, the two suspects allegedly began punching the 18-year-old and took their money. The 18-year-old screamed for help, and the other 18-year-old arrived and pulled them out of the vehicle, court documents say. The two then started running westbound when they heard “loud pops.”

According to court documents, one of the 18-year-olds looked back as they were running away and saw one suspect who was in the backseat of the vehicle holding a rifle and shooting at them from the back area of the sedan.

Bridgmon, who was in his vehicle parked about three spaces away at the time of the shooting, was struck by the gunfire. The LPD said Bridgmon did not intervene when the argument broke out, but court documents show he recorded part of the argument on his cellphone and “ultimately captured his own shooting and death.” The video Bridgmon recorded “largely corroborates” statements made by the 18-year-olds, court documents say.

The two men in the black sedan were seen fleeing the scene after the shooting.

Responding officers found Bridgmon in the driver's seat of his vehicle dead from his injuries.

Investigators identified the 21-year-old after receiving a Crimestoppers tip from an anonymous source. He was arrested around 6:15 a.m. on May 24 in the 8300 block of 37th Street NE in Marysville.

He was taken to the Snohomish County Jail and booked on suspicion of first-degree aggravated murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree assault and second-degree assault.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective Arnett at 425-670-5669. Anonymous tips can also be left by calling Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound at 1-800-222-8477.

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