From our sister site The Waterland Blog:
On Thursday afternoon, Mar. 31, 2022, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Shawn Antoine Austin, 46, in connection with the Mar. 28 shooting on/near a Metro bus stop on Pacific Highway S. near Kent Des Moines Road.
Austin is alleged to have shot and injured two men who were on a bus at that location.
Prosecutors say the suspect has a lengthy felony and misdemeanor criminal history, including prior convictions for Retail Theft, Domestic Violence Felony Violation Assault in the Third Degree and others.
“The defendant has now violently reoffended, shooting the victim in this case at close range and endangering the lives of everyone else on the bus and in the line of fire,” charging documents say.
As we previously reported, on Mar. 28 at around 4:43 a.m., Des Moines Police were dispatched to a suspicious circumstances call, in which the caller stated a person was ringing their doorbell while asking for help. Upon arrival police located a shooting victim with gunshot wounds to both his right and left arms. The victim told police a male he did not know but could identify had shot him after exiting a bus. He was transported to Harborview Medical Center for his gunshot injuries.
That same morning, Kent Police were dispatched to a shooting on King County Metro Bus coach number 6004, near the intersection of Kent Des Moines Road and Pacific Highway South. Upon arrival, police located a victim who had what appeared to be a grazing gunshot injury across his chest. That victim reported he had been sleeping on the bus and did not witness the shooting. He awoke after hearing gunshots and feeling pain, believing he had just been shot. He was treated at the scene and released.
Police determined both victims had been passengers on King County Metro Coach number 6004.
Des Moines Police obtained security video recorded from several interior and exterior cameras affixed to the bus, which was found to have captured the shooting incident.
An investigating officer reported the following in the charging documents:
- A tall black male, bald with what appears to be a goatee boards Metro coach #6004 and is transported with numerous other passengers as the bus travels northbound on Pacific Highway South. The male is wearing a black vest, blue jeans, and black shoes.
- The suspect male is visible on several of the coach’s cameras as he moves about and selects a seat. Several minutes after sitting down the male removes a two-tone, black, and tan-colored semi-automatic pistol from the left side of his jacket. The pistol had a distinct extended magazine protruding from the pistol’s magazine well. At the time, a Des Moines Police detective believed this pistol to be a Glock brand pistol. The male can be seen holding the pistol in his right hand while covering the frame with his left hand.
- The male exits the coach from the furthest passenger side rear doors, at the stop located in the 23000 block of northbound Pacific Highway South in Des Moines.
- Upon exiting and while still within the immediate area of the coach’s rear doors the male turns and watches as several other passengers also exit the bus.
- The male then raises the pistol with his right hand and fires a round at a man as he is exiting the coach’s door. The male then grabs the pistol with both hands, taking better aim, and fires two more rounds toward him and the open doors of the coach.
- The video depicts several other people who were in the line of fire, still seated on the coach, while the male was shooting. One male (believed to be the second victim) is sleeping on the seats and suddenly jumps up; clutching his abdomen while saying something to the effect that he was just shot.
- The second victim is visible running away from the scene behind the coach. Near the coach’s rear doors, Officers located three spent aluminum 9mm shell casings. Officers also located two bullet defects, one in the coach’s side panel near the passenger side rear exit door and one in the doorframe itself. The projectile that caused the defect in the doorframe appeared to have deflected to the right side of the coach’s passenger compartment and might be what struck Joseph in the chest. No spent projectiles were located.
- At just after 6 p.m. later that day – about 13 hours after the shooting incident – at Kent Des Moines Road and Pacific Highway South, Kent and Des Moines Police were dispatched to a subject brandishing a gun at the intersection of Pacific Highway South and South 272nd Street. Numerous people called 911 to report a bald black male, described as being 6’0″ tall and wearing a gray sweatshirt and black pants was brandishing what one caller described as a tan-colored Glock with an extended magazine. The callers reported the male boarded King County metro coach number 6008.
- Metro coach number 6008 was stopped. While stopped, a Kent Police Officer observed a handgun being thrown to the ground from the coach’s rear doors; he did not see who threw the gun. Immediately after the gun was thrown out, a bald black male who matched the physical and clothing description provided by the many 911 callers exited the bus and was detained by police. No one else on the bus matched that particular description. The male was identified by his Washington identification as suspect Shawn A. Austin, date of birth 11-18-1975.
- A Des Moines Police Officer immediately recognized Austin from the photographs that were provided to patrol staff of the suspected shooter on Metro coach number 6004 from earlier in the day. Austin was placed under arrest and advised of his Miranda rights. Post Miranda, Austin denied he possessed a gun or pointed a gun at anyone., instead claiming that he pointed a bottle of Neutrogena hand lotion at passing vehicles and people in a fashion resembling a gun. Austin reported he wanted people to believe he was pointing a gun at them because he was trying to be hit by a car.
- Officers recovered the handgun thrown from the coach and found it to be a two-tone black and tan Glock 19 Pistol with an extended magazine. The pistol was reported stolen under Seattle Police case 20-313177 in November 2020. The gun was loaded with aluminum cased 9mm caliber cartridges in both the magazine and chamber.
- A witness who was a passenger on coach number 6008, told police she witnessed Austin throw the handgun out of the coach’s doors before being contacted by police. She supplied officers with a recorded statement of this fact.
- Another witness told police she was stopped at the intersection of Pacific Highway South and South 272nd Street to turn westbound when she saw the suspect remove a two-tone handgun from his waistband and begin to scan motorists and pedestrians for targets. She described the suspect’s actions as “terrifying”. He was described as being a black male wearing a gray sweatshirt and black pants who was 40-50 years old.
- On Mar. 30, detectives showed one of the witnesses a randomized photographic montage that contained an image of the suspect with five other individuals of similar description. After being read the montage instructions, the witness picked the image of Austin and stated “That’s the son of Bitch right there, he’s always sneaking up on me.” A detective asked the witness how confident he was and he responded: “one hundred percent sure, all the way sure.”
- Also on Mar. 30, a detective obtained security camera video from that Metro bus, and says he saw Shawn Austin board the coach at 18:31 hours and then throw a handgun with an extended magazine out the rear doors of the coach at 18:40 hours.