An 8-year-old Federal Way girl shot Sunday inside her apartment when a bullet traveled through three walls later died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, and police say her father is no longer considered a suspect.
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the girl as Royal’lee Wallace and determined she died Monday from a gunshot wound to the head. Her death was ruled a homicide.
Attempts to contact Royal’lee’s family Friday were unsuccessful. But relatives told KIRO 7 Royal’lee wanted to be a scientist and would run around in a lab coat and glasses.
Federal Way police responded to St. Francis Hospital around 11:30 a.m. Sunday and learned the wounded child had been driven to the hospital in a private vehicle, a police spokesperson said earlier this week. Officers learned the shooting occurred in an apartment in the 27900 block of Pacific Highway South and police initially said the girl’s father was handling a gun when it discharged. The girl was later transported to Harborview.
Police, after working with attorneys in the King County Prosecutor’s Office, arrested the girl’s 35-year-old father, who had been with her at St. Francis Hospital and said in an initial statement that he had been alone in the apartment with his child when she was shot, Federal Way Cmdr. Kurt Schwan said in a news release.
The father was booked into jail early Monday but was released Tuesday evening, jail records show. He has not been charged with a crime.
Detectives later learned that two other people were in the apartment with the girl’s father when the shooting occurred, according to the news release.
“It was the father’s initial refusal to share this information with investigators and failure to identify the actual shooter that led to his arrest,” the news release says.
After detectives conducted additional interviews with the father and one of the other people alleged to have been in the apartment, the investigation shifted to locating the person who is now believed to have fired the fatal shot, says the news release.
No other information about the suspected shooter has been released.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the Federal Way Police Department at 253-835-2121.
News researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report.