EXCLUSIVE: B-Town Blog Interviews Woman Who Was Shot In Burien June 1st
Through our own detective work, along with a little bit of journalistic elbow grease, we were able to track down the woman who was shot at the intersection of SW 136th and Ambaum Blvd. SW last Wednesday, June 1st, for an exclusive B-Town Blog interview.
The woman has identified herself as Cassaundra Jonasson, and in our interview she paints a detailed picture of how the dramatic incident unfolded, how and where she got shot, how she ended up driving herself to the 7-11, what is was like being hit, and much much more.
Here’s a recap of the news as we reported that afternoon with numerous updates (read the entire post, with photos and audio interview here):
- The female victim was shot while sitting in her car with a passenger at the intersection of SW 136th and Ambaum Blvd. SW round 12:15 p.m.
- Seriously injured, she managed to drive herself to the recently re-opened 7-11/Shell gas station at SW 146th and First Ave South. Medics took her from there to Harborview Medical Center, where she was listed in serious condition. She has since been released.
- Ambaum was closed off for a while between SW 142nd and SW 136th as police scoured the area searching for the shooter.
- Mark Neuman spoke with Burien Police Sgt. Henry McLauchlan at the scene, who told him that the suspect, a male, fired into the woman’s car, then fled. Some people may have caught ‘fleeting glimpses’ of the man as he left, according to McLauchlan.
- Police on the scene repeatedly told us they thought the shooting “was not random.” We still don’t know the motive for the shooting.
- Neuman conducted an audio interview with An Banh, who owns an auto repair shop located kitty-corner from where the shooting took place, who heard the shots, saw the shooter and provides his own description of him (listen to it here).
- Far as we know, as of Wed., June 8th, police have not released a description of the suspect, and the shooter still remains at large.
This exclusive interview was conducted via email, and we present it below in its raw form:
Q: Please tell us, in detail, what exactly happened?
A: In the process of helping a family friend move out of the heights in burien. I myself had been in those apartments for about two weeks, the last day moving we loaded the car started driving out of the heights stopped at arco to get gas was there for about ten minutes. pulled out of Arco on the Ambaum blvd side turned right onto Ambaum sitting at the red light in front of the Arco on Ambaum and 136th. before the light turned green the passenger and i heard the first shot that went straight through the passengers window through his jacket coming less than an inch from hitting him and into my chest because i had my right arm on the steering wheel otherwise i would have probably been hit in the arm instead. my first instinct was to just step on the gas then rapidly four more shots came from behind us but you could tell he was running after the car. besides the first bullet one went through the passenger side right above the rear wheel through and through the car one went into the back in between of the rear window and the car where that bullet was lodged. another bullet into the passenger side rear tire and the last one ricocheted off the roof of the car. I had no clue at first i had been hit i continued to drive down Ambaum blvd somewhere between getting shot and 146th st the passenger in my car pointed out i had been shot i made a left on 146th convinced i was going to find Highline (hospital) myself but once we got up to first ave the burning and the pain was so bad i had to pull over the passenger had already been on the phone with 911 by that time.
Q: Did you know the shooter?
A: No, I’ve never met the man that shot before in my life.
Q: Do you know why he shot you?
A: We still are not 100% sure on that one but we have a few things that are being worked on.
Q: How many shots were fired? (we counted 5 evidence markers on the street)
A: Five is correct. he hesitated after the first one the last four were extremely rapid though.
Q: Did you know that you were hit right away?
A: Not at all. i felt something different about my body. It was HOT and then everything just started to burn really bad. All the adrenaline just from being shot at had me completely shook up i just couldn’t think of anything else.
Q: Did your passenger know the Shooter? Does he have any idea why you guys were shot at?
A: No the passenger is a GREAT person through and through. He has never had any type of trouble like that. That’s why when it first happened and we first pulled off we were so confused as to what even happened in the first place it was extremely shocking to the both of us. still to this day.
Q: The Passenger wasn’t hit, correct? Was he the target or were you?
A: No the passenger wasn’t hit. the first bullet that was shot came through his window went straight across his chest through and through both parts of his open jacket coming not even an inch of missing him. It was a very scary experience that neither of us ever wanted to go through. We both got extremely lucky in SO many ways. Its shocking because of how much it didn’t make scene. Its definitely one of the things that keep me up at night wondering. And as for the target that part hasn’t been figured out. as you can see in the pictures of the crime scene my car had 5% tint on it there was absolutely no way for anyone to know who was in my car or even who was driving it at that point.
Q: Did you drive the car yourself or was there another driver?
A: I did drive myself even though komo 4 reported that a man drove me to the gas station but yes i was the driver the whole time from 136th and Ambaum to 146th and first avenue.
Q: What was your condition initially?
A: At first i was fine. i knew to keep pressure on it until the aid car got there. and i knew since i wasn’t coughing up blood that most likely it hadn’t pierced my lungs. but by the time we got to 146th and first ave my body felt to weak. by the time the aid car had showed up i was sitting on the floor outside of my car.
Q: Did you suffer much?
A: The pain from the ambulance ride and the hospital was unbearable. They had to put breathing tubes down my throat and i was awake for the whole thing. There was such a large amount of blood lost i could feel my body getting weak. They said the bullet came an inch from my lung and five inches from my heart and the bullet went in pinky deep.
Q: How long were you in Harborview?
A: They took me to Harborview because i was in such critical condition. but i got shot on the first (of June) and the let me out late on the second so i wasn’t in there for long at all.
Q: What are your injuries/where were you hit? Will you fully recover?
A: I have a bullet hole wound right below the arm pit. It’s not all that big but since they wouldn’t give me stitches or anything it has to heal its self. for the most part i am fully recovered. Mentally/emotionally i will always have some scars but physically i am just as fine as i was before this all happened just with a wound to talk about.
Q: How are you doing now?
A: Now, i’m doing okay. still kind of worried with this guy out on the streets i still don’t understand with ALL the witnesses how this man hasn’t been caught. Especially knowing he ran into the heights after the shooting and i was staying there for the 2 weeks prior im sure that’s where they could be looking but the king county sheriffs department are putting there all into this and i do appreciate it. I just hope that if it was anyone else that happened to run into him they wouldn’t be scared to say something. Everyone has to tell at least one person their secret so there is someone out there that knows exactly who did this just to be able to think that is what bothers me i guess.
Q: Weren’t there several witnesses? Why hasn’t the shooter been caught yet?
A: I know there was several people at the bus stop right across the street. and when i pumped gas at arco all the pumps were full so i know there were witnesses there too. It just happens that since the area it all happened in a lot of people don’t talk to much. But hopefully with fingers crossed he will be caught.
Q: Do you live in Burien? Has this affected your perception of the city?
A: no i don’t live in burien i grew up there from the age of 2 – 13. Funny thing is i always told myself that Burien was the place i wanted to go back to and live. i still think burien is great it just happens to have its bad areas just like Tacoma or Seattle.
Q: If you could (safely) speak to the Shooter now, what would you say to him?
A: honestly i don’t really know what i would say. I mainly would just want to figure everything out and ask why but other than that im not much of a person to have words for anyone who would do something like that to anybody. I have a 2 year old that could have easily been in the back seat of the car (which got shot into) im just thankful i didn’t.
Q: Has this incident changed your perception of guns, gun laws, etc.?
A: My perception of guns has always been the same. I believe people have the right to bare arms for SAFETY reasons. Changing the laws isn’t going to stop the “bad” people from buying illegal guns from the street and using them for crime.
Here are some photos taken at both scenes that day by Mark Neuman: