The 37-year-old driver of a reportedly stolen SUV was found dead in the middle of Highway 18 early Tuesday morning, apparently having been shot, according to the Washington State Patrol.

All lanes of the highway between the C Street Southwest exit and Auburn Way were closed until about 8 a.m. Tuesday as police investigated the scene.

Trooper Rick Johnson said the SUV had been reported stolen from a 7-Eleven in Auburn around midnight, about 15 minutes before the fatal shooting.

The SUV was being chased, and shot at, by someone in another vehicle, he said.

The driver of the SUV spun out while going the wrong way up the C Street exit, then got out of the SUV, hopped the median and died in the eastbound lanes of the highway, Johnson said.

There were bullet holes in the SUV, but it’s not clear at this point whether the dead man was inside or outside of the vehicle when the fatal shot was fired, Johnson said.


As of 7 a.m. Tuesday, troopers didn’t have any information on the shooter or the car they were in.

The owner of the SUV had reported it as stolen and isn’t believed to have been involved in the shooting, Johnson said.

Detectives are waiting for access to surveillance video from 7-Eleven and traffic camera information from the city of Auburn and may soon put out a request seeking witnesses, Johnson said.