Renton man charged in deadly shootout at Federal Way bar

Scene of a fatal shooting Wednesday, June 27, at SW 336th Street and 21st Avenue SW in Federal Way. - Greg Allmain/Federal Way Mirror
Scene of a fatal shooting Wednesday, June 27, at SW 336th Street and 21st Avenue SW in Federal Way.
— image credit: Greg Allmain/Federal Way Mirror

A 21-year-old Renton man was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder and first-degree assault after a shootout left one man dead outside a Federal Way bar.

Kenneth M. Sutton Jr. is accused of killing Kent resident Cloise Young, 23, at Johnny's Famous Bar and Grill in a June 27 gunfight that left six others shot.

Sutton is being held in jail without bail. Most of the victims were bystanders who were not involved in any confrontation during the chaotic scene.

Each charge against Sutton includes a firearm sentencing enhancement. If convicted as charged, the sentence range is 30 to 40 years in prison, according to the King County Prosecutor's Office. Arraignment is scheduled for July 23 at the Regional Justice Center in Kent.

New details emerge

More details about the shooting were revealed Tuesday by the King County Prosecutor's Office.

According to the documents, Sutton allegedly instigated an argument by claiming gang affiliation and yelling about being "Rolling 90s."

"A good majority of the individuals, including the suspect and victim, have prior gang histories and current gang affiliation," Federal Way Police Chief Brian Wilson said last week, noting that other people present at the shooting had gang affiliations.

According to one witness, before Sutton began shooting, Young showed a holstered gun to Sutton after the bar closed at 2 a.m. and told him that he doesn't "bang." Young had a concealed weapons permit and appeared to be lawfully armed, according to police.

"Shots were exchanged," Wilson said last week. "We don't believe the victim fired his weapon. We believe someone else fired his weapon."

When police arrived, Young was found with an empty gun holster attached to his pants, but no firearm was recovered from the scene, documents said. A witness claimed to have seen a Mexican male standing over Young after he was shot, trying to remove his watch and going through his pockets. When confronted, the man said that he was Young's "partner" and was just trying to get all his stuff, documents said. The witness stated that the man did not know Young.

Federal Way detectives processed the scene and collected numerous items including five .45-caliber cartridge cases and 21 .40-caliber cases. The .45 casings were grouped around Young's body, while the .40 casings were found all along the sidewalk area, stretching near to victim to approximately 130 feet to the east.

Following the shooting, Sutton fled the scene, according to documents. He and another individual showed up at the Valley Medical Center in Renton seeking treatment for wounds three hours later. That's where Sutton was arrested and booked into King County Jail for investigation of homicide.

Federal Way detectives responded to the Valley Medical Center around 5 a.m. June 27 after Sutton and another 21-year-old male told staff that they had been shot in Federal Way at a bar, according to documents. Sutton was shot in his right arm.

When contacted by Federal Way police, Sutton was verbally abusive and uncooperative, and pulled the bed covers over his head when an officer attempted to take his photograph.

When transported from Renton to Federal Way for processing, Sutton continued to be abusive and began kicking the door of the police vehicle. After arriving in Federal Way, police observed Sutton masturbating in the holding cell while awaiting transport to the King County Jail, documents said.

Sutton has five prior felony convictions, including unlawful possession of a firearm (2008, 2010), promoting prostitution (2010), violation of the Uniform Controlled Substance Act (2007) and possession of stolen property (2005). He also had several convictions for assault against members of his family and a police officer.

Documents state that two of Sutton's sisters had no-contact orders against him, stemming from criminal charges. He has additional misdemeanor convictions and pending charges for resisting arrest and obstructing a public servant.

Johnny's Famous Bar and Grill has been under its current ownership since 2006. Since that time, there have been few issues with the business and the way it's been run, Wilson said. He said in recent months, there's been an uptick in trouble at the bar. Officers assigned to patrol duty in the area have noted that people often congregate in the parking lot and consume alcohol before heading into the bar.

Along with that illegal consumption of alcohol, other issues have surfaced recently.

"(There have been) several arrests for assault, firearms violations, malicious mischief and resisting arrest," Wilson said.

Wilson said Federal Way police are putting together an operational plan to review other bars and clubs in the city that may attract rowdier crowds, in order to deter the over-serving of liquor and other issues.

The ownership of Johnny's is planning a complete overhaul for the bar, Wilson said, with a name change and shift in focus.


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