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Kent and Renton shootings linked?

Kent detectives were still investigating Wednesday whether gang activity was behind the July 12 shooting death of a 17-year-old Renton boy at a Kent fast-food restaurant in the 300 block of East Smith Street.

“We are looking at that possibility,” Kent Police spokesman Paul Petersen said Wednesday.

Police remain in search of the gunman who fled the scene after the 7:10 p.m. shooting. Police have described him as a black male between the ages of 17 and 24.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office on Tuesday identified the Renton boy as Chezaray Bacchus. He died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Petersen said initial reports indicated one or two shots were fired from a handgun.

Bacchus was among more than 20 young men reportedly involved in an argument at the restaurant. He was found shot at the entry to the restaurant. He died at the scene despite efforts by Kent emergency responders to resuscitate him.

Earlier reports indicated he was shot in the head.

“We have strong leads and do expect it to be resolved,” Kent Police Chief Steve Strachan told the Kent City Council on Tuesday as part of his monthly public-safety report. “This type of activity is unacceptable, period. We will not let it become routine.”

Strachan said Kent Police are working with gang units from the Seattle Police and King County Sheriff’s Office as part of the investigation.

Detectives also are working with Renton Police to determine if an 18-year-old man injured in a shooting at about 9 p.m. July 12 in Renton was related in any way to the Kent shooting.

The call for the Renton shooting came from a convenience store in hte 660 block of S. Third Street, said Penny Bartley, Renton Police spokesperson. She said the victim was shot in an adjoining parking lot and went towards the store to get help. He collapsed near the store. He was treated at the scene by Medic One and transported to Harborview Medical Center. He remained in the hospital as of Monday.

Calls to the Renton Police and the hospital weren’t immediately returned.

“We are coordinating with the Renton Police to see if there is any connection,” Petersen said. “We have not concluded that.”

Petersen said it remains uncertain why the large group of young men had come to Kent.

“I imagine it was for the street fair or carnival attraction,” Petersen said.

The Kent shooting occurred just a few blocks east of the annual Kent Cornucopia Days weekend festival in downtown Kent.

Petersen said several detectives are assigned to the case.

“They are working hard to resolve all of the issues so we can get justice for the family,” Petersen said.

Anyone with information about the Kent shooting should call the Kent Police at 253-856-5800.

Emily Garland contributed to this story. Contact her at emily.garland@reporternewspapers.com or 425-255-3484, ext. 5052

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