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17-Year-Old Girl Riding In Car Killed In Another Unprovoked Shooting

Tue., April 1, 1997

After a four-day visit in Lakewood, Wash., south of Seattle, 17-year-old Ann Harris was supposed to return home to Alexandria, Va., on Sunday. But she lost her life early Saturday, the most recent victim of a string of apparently unrelated shootings on Western Washington roads.

The shooting took place about 1:20 a.m. Saturday as Harris rode in a car with three others. Someone in a car behind them fired at them, said Curt Benson, spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.

It was the most recent of several shootings involving vehicles in the Puget Sound area, including the slaying a week ago of a 20-year-old Tacoma man, who was shot in the head while riding in a car on Interstate 5 near Centralia.

Saturday’s shooting occurred when Harris and the three others in the car were returning home after visiting friends, Benson said.

Harris was in Lakewood during spring break visiting a friend, a 17-year-old girl who used to live in Virginia and went to school with Harris, Benson said. That friend was also in the car when the shooting took place, along with two 18-year-old men, Benson said.

As the car Harris was in, a 1996 Toyota Camry, was driving along 87th Avenue Southwest, a late ‘60s or early ‘70s Malibu or Impala began tailgating it.

The Camry, which was in the right lane, turned right on Steilacoom Boulevard, when someone in the other car, in the left lane, shot at the Camry, Benson said.

The single gunshot hit the Camry’s left rear taillight, went through the trunk and into the back seat, hitting Harris in the back, Benson said. The 18-year-old man driving the Camry drove to a convenience store about a mile from the shooting, and the passengers called 911.

Harris was taken to Madigan Army Medical Hospital and underwent surgery, but was pronounced dead at 8:20 a.m. Harris’ father, a retired Navy officer, was traveling to Lakewood to claim his daughter’s body.

There were apparently two people in the car that tailgated the one Harris was in, Benson said. Although there was no description of the driver, the passenger was described as a man in his late teens or early 20s, weighing about 190 pounds and wearing a black knit cap.

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