Three teens arrested in fatal shooting at Seattle homeless encampment

Three teenage boys were arrested Monday in connection with a shooting at a notorious Seattle homeless encampment that killed two people and wounded three others last week.

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole said the suspects — aged 13, 16 and 17 and of Samoan descent — were arrested under an Interstate 90 off-ramp. She added that police were not aware of any outstanding suspects.

The shooting erupted on the evening of Jan. 26 at a homeless encampment in the city known as 'The Jungle.' Police have said they believe the shooting stemmed from a low-level drug-dealing dispute and that the suspects and victims either knew each other or knew of each other.

The two people killed at the encampment have been identified as 45-year-old Jeannine L. Zapata and 33-year-old James Q. Tran. Both died of gunshot wounds.

The three people wounded, ranging in age from 25 to 45, remained at the hospital Monday with a man and woman in satisfactory condition, according to Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg.

She said the other woman wants to keep her condition private. Her condition last week was listed as satisfactory.

O'Toole said Monday night at a news conference that detectives worked around the clock to identify the suspects and that numerous scenes were searched as well as a vehicle. She said police still believe at least two of the suspects fired weapons that night.

KCPQ reported that police have also recovered a gun that matches the caliber of one of the weapons fired that night.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray had high praise for law enforcement after the arrests.

"This violent crime shocked Seattle," he said in a statement. "Thank you to the team at the Seattle Police Department for your professionalism in pursuit of this investigation, resulting in these three arrests. Our homicide investigators worked tirelessly to pursue leads and track down these suspects. We are also grateful for the efforts of our partners from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies."

O'Toole said the city is continuing its assessment of the encampment, which is not authorized by the city, to determine what should be done at the site. Murray said last week that particular encampment "has been unmanageable and out of control for almost two decades."

In November, Murray and King County Executive Director Dow Constantine declared a state of emergency regarding homelessness, pledging more than $7 million to address the crisis.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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