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Family of girl shot at Lynnwood mall ‘stunned’ as teen charged as adult

Family of girl shot at Lynnwood mall ‘stunned’ as teen charged as adult

An Edmonds teenager posted $500,000 bail Thursday, a day after Lynnwood Police Department (LPD) officers arrested him in connection with the death of a 13-year-old girl who was shot at Alderwood Mall, a local report said.

On Tuesday, the 16-year-old suspect was charged in Snohomish County Superior Court with first-degree murder, first-degree murder and assault, and was found to be a minor in possession of the firearm used to kill the girl, according to court documents obtained by the Daily Herald of Everett. The Everett Herald also reported that the suspect, Samuel L. Gizaw, was charged as an adult.

In a post on X on Wednesday evening, the LPD said the teenager had been arrested for investigation of “murder,” but it was not clear what charges he was actually facing.

The victim of the mall shooting was identified as 13-year-old Jayda Woods-Johnson.

More information on the suspect and the teenager who was shot in Lynnwood

Two groups of teenagers got into an altercation near the food court around 6 p.m. when one person fired a gun, striking the girl, Lynnwood Deputy Police Chief Patrick Fagan told KIRO 7. Police said the girl was an innocent bystander.

No suspects were arrested at the scene. But according to a post by the LPD on X, the suspect was identified as a 16-year-old boy from Edmonds and he was taken into custody after his mother brought him in until he posted bail. Previously, the department had posted pictures of the suspect in several X posts.

At the time of Wednesday’s shooting, people at the mall were told to get to safety. That order was lifted shortly before 7:30 p.m.

A witness said he had just left the food court when he heard what sounded like fireworks.

The gun has not yet been found. In its final X-post about the shooting late Wednesday, the LPD asked anyone who might know any of the people involved in the crime to call 425-670-5623.

More crime in Snohomish County: 2 people arrested for drive-by shooting in quiet Edmonds area

Jayda Woods-Johnson’s family speaks out about LPD

In another X-post late Wednesday night, LPD reported that Woods-Johnson’s family “requests privacy at this time.” They ask that all media contacts be handled through LPD.

Woods-Johnson’s parents, Tabatha and Jeremy Johnson, released another detailed statement through the X-account of LPD Friday afternoon, which highlights several important points.

The family expressed disappointment that the suspect who shot their daughter posted bail and was able to go home.

“We are extremely disappointed and disgusted to learn that the 16-year-old mall shooter responsible for our daughter’s murder has, shockingly, already been released on bail and is in the comfort of his own home,” the statement about X reads.

The family added that while they were “completely devastated and stunned” by the developments in the suspects’ case, they were “grateful to the Lynnwood Police Department for their diligence and dedication in seeking justice for our daughter.”

In addition, the Johnsons, about LPDconfirmed that a “fake” GoFundMe page had been set up in her daughter’s name. Anyone wishing to help the family with funeral expenses is asked to join the online fundraiser set up by family friend Cheryl Huffman. Since its launch on Thursday, over $32,300 has been raised as of Saturday morning, a figure that has already surpassed the original goal of $30,000.

Image: A Lynnwood police vehicle can be seen in front of the Alderwood Mall.

A Lynnwood Police vehicle is seen in front of Alderwood Mall. (Image courtesy of KIRO 7)

Condolences to the victim and her family

“The Lynnwood Police Department extends its deepest condolences to Jayda’s family and friends for their unimaginable loss in this senseless act of violence,” Fagan said in a statement, according to Lynnwood Today.

Official condolences were released on Thursday following Woods-Johnson’s death.

“My heart breaks for the family of this young woman who was killed in a senseless act of violence. I grieve with her family as they try to cope with the loss of their daughter,” Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell wrote in a statement available on the City of Lynnwood website. “No one should have to go through this grief; the road ahead will be difficult for all who knew this young woman and they will remain in my thoughts and prayers.”

“We are deeply saddened by the senseless, horrific tragedy that occurred at our mall,” Alderwood Mall wrote in its press release, which can be seen on its Facebook page. “Our thoughts are with the victim’s family and friends during this unimaginable time. Out of respect and deference to them and our entire community, Alderwood will be closed (on the Fourth of July).”

This story was originally published on July 3 at 10 p.m. and has since been updated and republished.

Contributors: KIRO 7

Bill Kaczaraba is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here. Follow Bill on Xor send him an email here.

Steve Coogan is the editor-in-chief of MyNorthwest. Read more of his stories here. Follow Steve on Xor send him an email here.