The King County Sheriff’s Office today issued more details on the Skyway shootout in which Benjamin Colton Barnes was believed to be a participant. Barnes, 24, is suspected of slaying park ranger Margaret Anderson a short time later.
Barnes’ body was found Monday at Mount Rainier National Park. He is believed to have died from exposure.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Barnes and about eight other people were at a house party in the 6200 block of South 117th Place early on New Year’s morning. During the party there was a “show and tell” of guns and at least two people fired multiple gunshots into the air.
Just before 3 a.m., one of the males at the party asked to see a firearm belonging to another person. When asked to give the gun back the male refused, the Sheriff’s Office said. A fight erupted and at one point at least two people pulled guns and opened fire.
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Witnesses said Barnes was one of the people who pulled a gun and fired.
Barnes and two others left the house after the shooting. Detectives spent most of the day talking to witnesses and trying to identify and locate the people who had left the house. Two were located, and detectives were working with relatives of Barnes to persuade him to come to police to tell his side of the story.
Detectives have been unable to talk to all the shooting victims. Detectives say it is unclear who shot first and who was shot by whom.
The victims remain in the hospital. Two are stable and two have critical injuries, the Sheriff’s Office said.