At approximately 10:40 p.m. on Thursday night, Dec. 7, 2023, Washington State Patrol (WSP) troopers arrested an individual they suspect to be involved in some of the shootings that occurred on I-5 the night of Dec. 6, 2023, in south King County (read our previous coverage here).
The suspect was identified as Marco Antonio Ramos Valdez, a 28-year-old male from Auburn.
- Shooting #1 – Dec. 6, 2023, 9:20 p.m.: The victim vehicle was traveling southbound I-5 north of S. 320th Street in Federal Way when the suspect vehicle fired one round through the driver’s window, striking him in the neck. The passenger was not injured. The driver was transported to Harborview Medical Center and is expected to recover.
- Shooting #2 – Dec. 6, 2023, 9:42 p.m.: The victim vehicle was traveling northbound I-5 near S. 200th Street in SeaTac when the driver of the suspect vehicle fired a round. No injuries sustained by victim.
In these two shootings both victims described the same exact vehicle and suspect description. It was a light blue Nissan 370z with a large rear spoiler and chrome rims with a white male driver possibly mid-30s. The suspect vehicle was last seen exiting to Interurban Ave in Tukwila.
- Shooting #3 – Dec. 6, 2023, 10:27 p.m.: The victim was traveling southbound SR 167 approaching the Ellingson exit when a shot was fired at them. There was no vehicle description in this shooting.
- Shooting #4 – Dec. 6, 2023, 11:40 p.m.: The victim was traveling southbound I-5 near S. 320th Street when the driver of a gray mid 2000s pickup fired at them. The victim was not struck, and they were unable to provide a description of the suspect.
- Shooting #5 – Dec. 6, 2023, 9 p.m.: This shooting was reported by the victim Thursday afternoon, Dec. 7, 2023. The victim was traveling from SR 518 to southbound I-5 in Tukwila when their vehicle was struck by one round. The suspect vehicle was described as a small car with loud exhaust and may be associated with the first two shootings. No injuries to the victim.
- Shooting #6 – Dec. 6, 2023, 9 – 10 p.m.: This shooting was also reported Thursday afternoon, Dec. 7, 2023. The victim was traveling southbound I-5 near the Southcenter area in Tukwila when an unknown vehicle fired at them. No injuries to the victim.
The suspect vehicle was identified based on descriptions from the first two victims, traffic cameras in the city of Tukwila, an alert from the FLOCK system in the city of Auburn and tireless work of Washington State Patrol detectives.
Law enforcement agencies county-wide had been alerted to the description of the vehicle and suspect. Shortly after 10:30 p.m. Thursday night, troopers received information the vehicle was in the Auburn area and were actively searching for the vehicle. The vehicle was located parked at an address in Auburn and a short time later the troopers observed the vehicle leaving the residence. The driver was confirmed to match the description of the suspect and a traffic stop was conducted and the driver was placed into custody. When the troopers went back to the vehicle they observed from the outside a semi-automatic handgun, loose ammunition and a spent shell casing in the back.
The vehicle was impounded and placed into WSP evidence, the suspect was interviewed and booked into the King County Jail for investigation of Drive By Shooting and Assault 1st Degree.
The actions of the suspect the night of December 6th met the very definition of an active shooter. The WSP has every reason to believe that the suspect was leaving last night to commit further shootings.
There is no doubt that directly because of the tireless work of WSP detectives, uniformed troopers and information from our allied partners prevented further victims from being shot at and injured or worse.
This brings the number of shootings to 51 in 2023 that the WSP has investigated. If there any additional victims or anyone with information on these cases or any other crimes on the freeway system, please contact the Washington State Patrol, please email Detective Haake at [email protected].