A month after a shooting at Lake Sammamish State Park left two men dead, murder charges have still not been filed in the case. Sgt. John Urquhart of the King County Sheriff’s Office said his department was still awaiting the results of ballistics tests from the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab before making any judgment of who fired the fatal shots.
The Reporter spoke with the crime lab’s Public Information Office, George Johnson, who explained why the process was taking so long.
“We have quite a bit of evidence, both DNA and firearms related, and evidence from the scene is still coming in,” he said.
An article by The Herald newspaper in Everett published earlier this year claimed the crime lab was so short staffed that ballistic tests were taking up to six months to complete. Johnson disputed this timeframe, saying that since that story was published in January, the lab had hired three new scientists, reducing the turnaround time at the lab.
“We prioritize evidence as much as we can,” Johnson said, adding that the lab worked closely with the investigating agency to identify the most important cases. “Obviously, this is one of those.”
While he wouldn’t say how long the public would have wait to see results of the evidence testing, Johnson said it wouldn’t take six months.
The only arrest made so far related to the July 16 shooting was that of David Keowongphet, a cousin of one of the deceased, who was charged late last month with unlawful possession of a firearm.