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State troopers investigate 'alarming' number of drive-by shootings on King County highways

The Washington State Patrol says there have been three drive-by shootings on King County highways in one week.

SEATTLE — The Washington State Patrol is investigating what it calls an alarming number of drive-by shootings on King County highways. 

Troopers have reported 12 drive-by shootings in King County this year. Half of those were in the month of March and three this week.

At this time, troopers believe the shootings are random and haven’t linked the three latest ones together.

“Anyone shooting is alarming but to have our detectives working on three in one week,"  said Trooper Rick Johnson, public information officer for the Washington State Patrol. "That's even more concerning."

The first of the three most recent shootings happened on Sunday. Troopers said someone riding in an Uber on Eastbound SR 520 from Seattle to Bellevue was shot and had to undergo surgery. 

Then there were two shootings in one day on Wednesday. Troopers said shortly after midnight, the driver of a Ford pickup said a white sedan fired one round and hit the passenger door while driving northbound on I-5 near the Northeast 50th Street ramp. No one was hurt.

Around 10:30 that same morning, troopers said a semi-truck driver on Southbound State Route 167 reported a sedan with no license plate and a driver wearing a ski mask pulled alongside of him and shot once. The suspect vehicle is described as a sedan with mismatched paint, black rims and possibly a black hood.

State troopers are asking for any pieces of information, no matter how small.

“Even if you saw a car speeding past you in that area, you didn't see any shooting, but just any information," Johnson said. "It could have been the person that fired the shot that was just trying to get away."

It’s an issue on the roads that’s getting worse. Over the past five years, cases of shots fired in Pierce and King Counties have been climbing and road rage shootings are increasing.

Tim Clifford’s friend was the latest victim in a road rage shooting with a long road to recovery.

“He's such a good guy it's hard to believe something like this could happen to him,” Clifford said.

On March 15, police began getting reports of a car cutting people off on I-5 between Kent and Sea-Tac near 216th Street. The suspect pulled out a gun and shot Clifford’s friend.

The suspect is still on the run and investigators are looking for a four-door infinity or a similar vehicle.

“I'm willing to say that this is evil and I think it would be best for everyone that we help the police in getting this person off the streets,” Clifford said.

Friends and family are offering a reward of $5,000 to anyone with the name of the suspect that leads to a conviction.

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