July 1, 2013 at 11:54 AM
Police: Suspect had no connection with shooting victim Molly Conley
UPDATE AT 1:21 P.M.: Erick N. Walker’s arraignment has been postponed until tomorrow afternoon so the defense attorney can review the probable-cause document filed against his client.
EVERETT — The Marysville man suspected of killing 15-year-old Molly Conley apparently had no connection with the Seattle girl, a Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said this morning.
The suspect, Erick N. Walker, 26, is believed to have been involved in several drive-by shootings the night Conley was killed. Walker was linked to Conley’s shooting after his car was involved in a hit-and-run accident the same night. Damage sustained by his vehicle was consistent with the accident reported by witnesses, the spokeswoman said.
Walker was also linked to the shooting through a .30-caliber firearm allegedly used in the shootings, according to court documents. The firearm had been purchased at the Cabela’s sporting goods store on the Tulalip reservation, the documents said.
Police also said this morning they do not believe anyone else was involved in the shootings. They still don’t have a motive for the shooting.
Walker was arrested Friday as he drove away from his house. He was booked into Snohomish County Jail late Friday on suspicion of first-degree murder in the June 1 drive-by shooting of Conley of Seattle. He is also facing several other charges.
Walker, who has not been formally charged, is scheduled to make a first court appearance this afternoon.
Conley, known as “4.0” because of her grades at Seattle’s Bishop Blanchet High School, was shot and killed while celebrating her 15th birthday with friends in Lake Stevens. Detectives believe she was a random victim of a shooting spree and that Walker did not know her, according to a law-enforcement source.
Conley was walking with classmates along South Lake Stevens Road at 11:18 p.m. when someone in a passing vehicle opened fire, striking her in the neck with a bullet.
Officials said they received 911 calls reporting at least three other drive-by shootings in the area later that night, which resulted in property damage.
Walker’s only police record is a list of traffic violations, mostly speeding tickets.
Walker’s Facebook page features a photo of rifles and handguns and says he graduated from Stanwood High School and ITT Technical Institute in Everett, where he studied computer network systems, and that he has worked at Boeing.
His neighbors said Walker moved into the house several months ago. A couple of them met his father, who helped his son get situated in the house.
After that, Walker kept to himself.
Walker is employed by Boeing in Everett.
During this morning’s news conference, a statement was read on behalf of Conley’s family:
As this tragedy unfolds we ask the media and public to recall the beauty, grace and love that is Molly. She inspired classmates, inspired teammates and opponents, and inspired her family to live better lives, to find hope in the midst of hardship, and to play the game — whether soccer, lacrosse, or life–with enthusiasm, determination, and joy. She is the reason we are here today, and it is her life, more than her death, that we hope people will remember; since it is her life that was so amazing.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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