Gunman kills 16-year-old as he answers door in Seattle

Earl Estrella
Earl Estrella

A 16-year-old Filipino American boy was shot and killed by an unidentified gunman after answering the door in their Rainier Beach home in Seattle last week.

What occurred: The incident happened before 11 p.m. on April 23 when the victim, identified as Earl Estrella, answered the door of their home in Waters Avenue South after hearing a knock, according to the Seattle Times.

  • Witnesses said the gunman shot Estrella several times while the latter stood in the doorway. The suspect fled the scene, and no physical description was made available, Q13 Fox reported.
  • The teen was pronounced dead at the scene from a gunshot wound to the head, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Other details: Authorities have yet to find any leads to the shooter’s identity or the motive behind the killing.

  • Phouvieng Soneouthay, Estrella’s step-father, does not know why his step-son was targeted, he told KOMO News.
  • Soneouthay emerged from his bedroom in the home after hearing gunshots to find Estrella dying.
  • “Was it targeted?” Erin Goodman, chair of the South Precinct Advisory Council, said. “We have no way of knowing. Was it a relative that was targeted? Was it the right address?”
  • “This is the second juvenile that’s been shot this month and we’re just trying to figure out ways to stop this violence,” Seattle Police Interim Chief Adrian Diaz said in a statement.

A beloved son: Estrella’s aunt and godmother, Daisy Rivera Ganal, has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help the family with the funeral expenses.

  • “For those of you who knew and loved Earl, this news is absolutely devastating as he was only 16 years old and was a kind and sweet person,” the GoFundMe reads. “He loved his family, especially his siblings, Ryan, Jlord, MJ, and Kayla.”
  • “He was often sitting outside doing homework,” Ian Price, the family’s next door neighbor, said about Estrella. “Just a really friendly kind person.”
  • It has raised over $28,000 of its $10,000 goal as of this writing.
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