EVERETT — Representatives for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Monday, July 1, to address the recent arrest of a suspect in the June 1 drive-by shooting of a Seattle teenager in Lake Stevens.
Marysville’s Erick N. Walker, 26, was arrested on Friday, June 28, in connection with the death of 15-year-old Molly Conley, after a month-long investigation involving more than a dozen detectives, officers and forensic scientists from four law enforcement agencies was able to establish probable cause.
Shari Ireton, director of communications for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, reported that Walker was booked into the Snohomish County Jail on the evening of June 28 for the recommended charges of five counts of second-degree assault with a weapon, four counts of drive-by shooting and one count of first-degree murder.
“It took an incredible amount of investigative work to get us to where we are today,” said Ireton, who explained that cross-indexing the weapons used in the shooting with people who had recently purchased similar weapons yielded a list of names that included Walker, whose vehicle was found to be damaged in a manner consistent with the type of collision reported by witnesses whose vehicle was allegedly struck by the suspect’s vehicle. “With this evidence in hand, detectives obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s vehicle and residence in Marysville. On Friday, they served those warrants and detained the suspect for questioning. Although the suspect did not confess to the crime, he did provide enough information to the detectives to establish probable cause for his arrest.”
Although Ireton, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Lt. Brent Speyer and acting Sheriff Tom Davis were all reticent to share or speculate about several areas of the case, for fear of compromising a still-ongoing investigation, Speyer did say that the suspect does not have any history with the victim of which Speyer himself is aware.
“We believe this was a random act,” said Speyer, who underscored Ireton’s praise for the investigators in this case. “We had a group of detectives from multiple agencies working together around the clock for a month on this, and I’m so proud of them, because I’ve been in law enforcement for 29 years, but they were coming up with ideas I never would have thought of. They were tenacious in their pursuit of justice.”
Katie Larson, a friend of the Conley family, read from the statement by John, Tara and Johnny Conley, as well as Susan and Mathew Arksey, on July 1.
“Our daughter and sister Molly Conley was shot and killed June 1st in Lake Stevens while celebrating her 15th birthday with friends. As this tragedy unfolds we ask the media and public to recall the beauty, grace and love that is Molly. She inspired classmates, inspired teammates and opponents, and inspired her family to live better lives, to find hope in the midst of hardship, and to play the game — whether soccer, lacrosse, or life — with enthusiasm, determination, and joy. She is the reason we are here today, and it is her life, more than her death, that we hope people will remember; since it is her life that was so amazing.
“The violence that took her life and the circumstances that caused another human being to commit such an act are compelling and all want to understand it. As this aspect of Molly’s story is examined do not lose sight of our daughter and sister; continue to honor her and present her shining example.
“We thank the media for respecting our privacy and grieving. We are grateful to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department, especially Detective Brad Pince and Under Sheriff Tom Davis, for their ongoing dedication and kindness to us during this horrific time. Their efforts bring great relief to our family and the Lake Steven’s community. We are grateful for the outpouring of support from Lake Stevens and surrounding communities who’s contributions toward Molly have been so helpful.
“We continue to appreciate the generosity and love shown to us by our friends and relatives, our Magnolia and Kenmore communities, and all those that loved Molly and have been inspired by her beautiful life.”