Auburn, Washington – Police are looking for a man who blew up a car and caused a massive fire during a funeral at Auburn Cemetery last month. Investigators say the suspect also shot Auburn employees.
On August 23, police said a passenger placed an explosive in the car of an attendee during a memorial service at Mountain View Cemetery, which is owned by the city of Auburn.
The explosive device caused a “massive fire” that destroyed the victim’s car and surrounding trees, according to Auburn Police.
One employee says that when a group of 60 to 80 people were mourning during the funeral, someone approached one of the parked cars, and threw something inside.
“They saw a man run towards the window and break it,” said the employee, who asked not to be identified for his own safety. Then, even after 30 seconds, the car exploded, he said. The employee shared photos and videos of the scene with KIRO7 showing that the victim’s vehicle – a black Lexus sedan – was destroyed.
The employee says the suspect ran back to another car a short distance away and waited about 30 seconds to watch the victim’s car explode before speeding off.
“And my notification over the radio said, ‘Get that black car’s license plate number! He and another co-worker tried to track the suspicious car and drove a short distance out of the cemetery.
He said, “The man went out the window and fired four and five bullets at me and my co-worker.” That’s when they hid. “We just swerved, put it in reverse, and came back here,” he said.
“Are you well?” Diddy Sun asked KIRO7.
The employee said, “Yes.” “I don’t know what to do. It happened quickly and I had a family to feed and take care of, so I had to come home at night.”
The funeral and the explosion occurred more than two weeks ago, on August 23. But with no arrests, Auburn Police are asking for your help.
“It’s a very unusual situation. It’s something we really want to find out,” said Colby Crossley, a spokesperson for the Auburn Police Department. It was the passenger who threw the package, and the passenger was the one who fired the shots.
The suspected car was described as a black Acura RL without license plates, and police shared an image requesting public assistance in identifying the vehicle. However, Auburn Police acknowledged that commenters on social media were skeptical about the make and model of the car based on photos shared by investigators.
The suspect was described as a tall man wearing a full black ski mask.
Anyone who recognizes the vehicle or has any information about the case is asked to call the Auburn Police Information Line at 253-288-7403.
It caused a serious fire. And all that considered, we are very grateful that no one was injured. Because this could have been ten times worse than it was,” Crossley said.
KIRO7 asked Auburn Police whether the incident was retaliation or how the suspect knew the victim. Crossley said investigators are still investigating the motive behind the arson and attempted shootings.
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