Police are looking for a gunman who opened fire outside the Wild Waves Theme Park in Federal Way on Friday night.
A 17-year-old was critically injured, shot in the head during the water park’s “Fright Fest.” The suspect escaped in the chaos. Harborview Medical Center says the teenager is in the intensive care, in serious condition.
In a statement, Wild Waves said Federal Way police were here as they always are and acted quickly. They said they use metal detectors for anyone who goes into the park. But they don’t search people in the parking lot where the shooting occurred.
Eyewitnesses say two groups seemed to be antagonistic toward each other most of the night. Just before 11 p.m., their feud turned violent in the parking lot near the park’s entrance.
“They came walking into my room and, like, ‘Boy, hey, by chance did you hear those pops?,’ ” said Skyler Meek. “I’m, like, ‘yeah.’”
Meek says he and his fellow haunted house actors were ushered to safety.
“Very much a sense of urgency,” Meek said, “very much a sense of just fear that maybe one of us could have been, I don’t know, in harm’s way.”
Business was brisk at Wild Waves on Saturday, despite the shooting the night before.
“It’s a bit of a distance,” said Amber Nurse, “and we do it every year.”
But this is the first year Nurse has driven here from Marysville aware that the night before, this was a crime scene.
“It’s sad with all these shootings lately,” Nurse said. “And you know kids are just trying to have a great time.”
“It’s a little disheartening that this is the times we’re now in,” Nurse said. “But want to protect the kids and still have fun at the same time. It doesn’t keep us from having fun. In these cases, to me, the shooters will never win.”