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July 22, 2013 at 7:15 AM

Manhunt continues in shooting of 4-year-old

The Associated Press

UPDATE 1:01 p.m. | Police followed tips overnight but were still searching Monday for a Washington state man wanted for questioning in the shooting death of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old son.

Investigators are talking to people who may know Trevor Braymiller, 25, and asking the public for tips, Sedro-Woolley Police Chief Doug Wood said

Police don’t know if he’s still in the area, about 70 miles north of Seattle.

Detectives are waiting for results of the autopsy on Monday to learn more about how the boy died Sunday, and they can’t say yet whether it may have been an accident, Wood said.

The gun they believe was used was found Sunday by a Washington State Patrol explosives-sniffing dog under the stairs of a church about a half-block from the house where the child was shot that morning, the Skagit Valley Herald reported.

No shell casing was found at the scene, but there is one in the gun, indicating that the gun misfired and didn’t eject the shell. Lt. Lin Tucker said.

People at the house indicated the boy shot himself, but investigators suspect a homicide and Braymiller fled.

Police were told he went to the nearby church. A friend gave Braymiller a ride to the Big Lake community, about 5 miles south of Sedro-Woolley. The friend went to police after learning the child was dead.

Braymiller, a felon convicted of selling drugs, is not supposed to have a gun, police said. The house is well known to police, and officers conducted a drug raid there in 2011. Police have seized firearms from Braymiller in the past.

No one in the house saw the shooting, Tucker said. Also in the house at the time was the boy’s mother, a couple, another young man and a girl about 2 years old who was parented by the mother and Braymiller.

“We’re getting a lot of input from citizens saying they would like to find this guy and beat him up,” Tucker told the newspaper. “We would rather they not turn our suspect into a victim.”

Sunday night post: | A 4-year-old Sedro-Woolley boy is dead from a gunshot wound, and a man suspected in his homicide went on the run Sunday morning, according to police.

The suspect, Trevor Braymiller, 25, is the mother’s boyfriend. Neither she nor the boy was identified Sunday by authorities.

The mother and another child were in the home at the time of the shooting but did not witness it, said Police Chief Doug Wood. The boy was taken to Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon, where he was pronounced dead.

According to police, several people called 911 at 7:05 a.m. to report the shooting in the 1000 block of Township Street. A short time later, Braymiller got a ride from the residence and was dropped off in the Big Lake area of Skagit County, according to Wood.

By afternoon, police had recovered the handgun believed to have been used in the shooting. A search dog found the gun near a small church less than a block from the residence, after police got   a tip.

Wood said it is not known whether Braymiller has  weapons. He was recently released after a drug conviction, and as a felon is not allowed to possess a firearm.

“I would consider him dangerous,” Wood said. “He fled the scene and he’s probably desperate.”

Aaron Spoelstra, who lives across the street from the house,   said Braymiller came back to the neighborhood about a month ago. Braymiller apparently looked after his 1-year-old daughter while his girlfriend worked, he said.

“He was a cute little guy,” Spoelstra said of the 4-year-old. “I used to watch him ride his little tricycle.”

Spoelstra said he was contacted by Braymiller’s mother, who said she feared the manhunt wasn’t “going to end well.”

Initially, police believed the boy accidentally shot himself in the head, but after his body was examined they determined the gunshot was not self-inflicted.

Braymiller is described as white, 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds with brown hair and facial hair. He was last seen wearing a red or orange T-shirt.

“We certainly would like to talk to him and get his side of the story if there’s anything else to it,” Wood said.

Comments | Topics: shooting, Skagit


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