Renton police say fatal shooting of teen is possibly gang-related

The department is continuing to investigate the May 6 homicide.

The Renton Police Department is continuing to investigate the death of a 17-year-old boy who was found shot to death earlier in May.

Gerzon J. Garcia-Ruvalcaba, 17, died on May 6 as a result of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. They classified the death as a homicide.

Renton detectives believe the shooting potentially served as an incident of gang-related violence as retaliation for a separate shooting a week prior, with connection to a third shooting in the south end of Renton two weeks prior, said Chief of Police Jon Schuldt at the Public Safety Committee’s meeting on May 15.

Detectives are still gathering information regarding the incident, Chief Schuldt said.

“[The] detectives are doing an outstanding job,” he said.

Police have not identified any witnesses in the area at the time of the incident, according to Chief Schuldt.

Renton police were dispatched to the report of gunshots at approximately 4:19 a.m. on May 6 near the 4300 block of Northeast 4th Street. At the scene, a subject directed officers to the location of the victim between Windsor Apartments and Safeway, according to the department.

They found 17-year-old Gerzon lying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds. He died at the scene.

The incident serves as the third homicide of the year as of May 2023 in Renton.

Chair of the Public Safety Committee Kim-Khanh Van asked Chief Schuldt whether the City of Renton experienced instances of gang violence in years prior.

“Not to the extent we’re seeing right now,” Chief Schuldt responded.

The department lacks a dedicated unit in regard to enforcement of gang-related activity, though the department’s self-described “gang information officers” liaison with other officers to gather information. Instead, the department’s downtown patrol unit “will start taking a deeper dive” into gang activity.

The department’s downtown patrol will start ramping up enforcement on gang activity like graffiti, especially in the area between the Highlands and south end, Chief Schuldt said.