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Lynnwood mourns tragic loss of 13-year-old girl in Alderwood Mall incident on Wednesday

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A 13-year-old girl lost her life to a stray bullet in a heartrending tragedy at Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood on Wednesday

Lynnwood, Washington – During a confrontation in the food court, 13-year-old girl lost her life to a stray bullet in a heartrending tragedy at Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood. Described as an innocent bystander, the victim—identified as Jayda Woods-Johnson—was not involved in the altercation.

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Shortly after 6 p.m., on Wednesday, two groups of people—mostly older teenagers— fought for reasons currently under investigation. A bullet hit Jayda in the chaos, leaving her dead at the scene. Deeply impacted by the situation, Lynnwood Police Deputy Chief Patrick Fagan expressed his grief.

“I grew up in this area. I went to this mall, still frequent, so to have this kind of violence, senseless violence, here is upsetting,” Lynnwood police Deputy Chief Patrick Fagan said to Action News 5.

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Originally leaving the scene, a 16-year-old male suspected shooter caused a brief mall lockdown. This led to tense moments as shoppers, many of them teenagers, were evacuated and gathered outside. Turning around events, though, the suspect turned himself in after his own mother brought him to a police station. He currently faces murder charges.

The tragedy shaked the local community and authorities especially given it happened on the eve of a national holiday, a time usually associated with celebration and unity.

“It’s upsetting on a number of different levels. To have a totally innocent teenager hit is very upsetting. To have other teens engaged in this behavior on the eve of a national holiday is also upsetting,” Fagan added speaking to the TV station.

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While the Lynnwood community mourns the death of a young life, issues about public place safety and young group behavior remain vital. The events at Alderwood Mall serve as a sobering reminder of the quick and terrible effects of violence, which leaves a community to process and find means of prevention for further disasters.

A 13-year-old girl lost her life to a stray bullet in a heartrending tragedy at Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood on Wednesday

Credit: Flickr, Andrew Kim

Response from Mayor Frizzell on deadly Alderwood Mall shooting on Thursday

Yesterday, our community experienced a horrible tragedy when a shooting incident unfolded at the Alderwood Mall during a busy and sunny evening. Sadly, an innocent bystander, Jayda Woods-Johnson was struck and killed.  

My heart breaks for the family of this young lady killed by a senseless act of violence. I grieve for her family as they attempt to come to grips with the loss of their daughter. No one should have to go through this sorrow; the journey ahead for all who know this young lady will be difficult and they will remain in my thoughts and prayers. 

Gun violence is ravaging our young people. It is tearing our families apart and if we allow it, it can tear at the fiber of our community as well. Brazen acts of violence and disregard for the safety of our community needs to stop. Our community members deserve to feel safe while out shopping, or dining, or simply enjoying a nice evening. Our mall and the surrounding areas, our city parks, and our neighborhoods must remain safe and welcoming gathering places for our community members. We must come together and take a stand against these acts of senseless violence. 

Our police have been on scene for hours since the shooting and I commend them for their willingness to serve our city in dangerous and difficult situations. Mall stores and personnel reacted well in sheltering shoppers during the situation, and they are to be commended. My thanks also go out to South County Fire and the other first responders who rushed to the scene to provide aid.  

We have a great many organizations that stand ready to help in times of crisis and I am thankful for them as well. Our Lynnwood Police Detectives and Special Operations division are actively working on all leads, and I have no doubt that they will be vigilant in their efforts to bring our community, and the victim’s family a resolution.  

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