Edmonds police seeking MLT teen in shooting death of 17-year-old Edmonds girl

Location of shooting, courtesy Google Maps.

Updated at 2 p.m. with more details from an Edmonds-Woodway High School letter to families Saturday, Dec. 1.

Edmonds police detectives said they are looking for a 16-year-old Mountlake Terrace boy after a 17-year-old Edmonds girl was found shot to death in the 7400 block of 208th Street Southwest around 4 p.m. Friday.

A letter sent to Edmonds-Woodway High School families Saturday identified the shooting victim as Gala Zuehlke, a former EWHS student.

According Edmonds police spokesman Sgt. Shane Hawley, the victim’s body was discovered by a friend at 4 p.m. Friday inside an apartment unit at Horizon Park Apartments. Detectives, with assistance from the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab, were at the crime scene overnight processing evidence and also interviewed acquaintances in an effort to determine what occurred, Hawley said.

It’s unknown exactly when the shooting occurred, but it was  likely accidental, Hawley said. The Mountlake Terrace suspect — who has been reported missing for the past 10 days — left the scene and is still outstanding. Police are working with the suspect’s family in an attempt to locate him, Hawley added.

The cause and manner of death will be determined by the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office, which took custody of the body, Hawley said.

EWHS Principal Terrance Mims sent the following letter to the school’s families at 12:45 p.m. Saturday:

Dear Edmonds-Woodway Students and Families –

It is with great sadness that I share with you information about the death of former Edmonds-Woodway student Gala Zuehlke. We learned Friday afternoon that Gala Zuehlke died at her home.

Gala’s death is being investigated by the Edmonds Police Department as an accidental shooting but the suspect left the scene and is still outstanding.  The suspect is a sixteen-year-old from Mountlake Terrace.

Gala’s family has given us permission to share this news with our school community.

Gala was a senior this year and a full-time e-Learning student, after having attended Edmonds-Woodway over the past two years. Gala is remembered fondly by both staff and students as a warm and friendly young woman.

This may be your student’s first experience with death or it may be that this death brings back feelings from past experiences. It is particularly difficult when it is someone that your child may have known through class or simply that your child faces his or her own mortality for the first time.

When things of this nature occur, feelings of shock, sadness, fear, and anger can very easily well-up inside of us. These emotions may come and go throughout the day – even for days to come, while some may not seem to have any reaction at all. We do not always know how a student will be affected at a time like this, but you can help your child simply by listening and talking with him or her when matters of this nature confront us.

This is a difficult time for many in our school community. To help our students and staff cope, we will have additional counseling support at school on Monday for both staff and students who were affected by Gala’s death.


Terrance Mims

Edmonds-Woodway High School

4 Replies to “Edmonds police seeking MLT teen in shooting death of 17-year-old Edmonds girl”

  1. Another one bites the dust …. This is becoming an increasingly frequent occurrence, finding girls’ bodies, murdered by boys or young men. Contrary to popular belief, kids do need discipline to turn into decent, law-abiding adults. That discipline needs to come from a dad and mom. During my teenage years, it came mostly from my father, but my mother did some disciplining as well. So I learned what was proper behavior and what was taboo. Kids no longer learn that, not around here. Just recently (front-page news), Brian Varela (20) only got 2 years 10 months in prison for feeding fatal drug cocktails to an 18-year-old girl (Alyssa Noceda). This guy is a reptile. He viciously raped her, and of course captured that on his smartphone to share with others, then he stuffed her dead (or maybe she hadn’t even expired yet) body into a bag, first breaking her legs to fit it in. People should be horrified by this. They just found another girl’s body (see above story) in MLT. A 17-year-old allegedly shot by a 16-year-old boy. Parental involvement in a young person’s life can change a lot of things. But it has to be the right kind of involvement. If dad watches porn, you can bet his son will. If parents use foul language, you can bet their kids will. I never heard a single foul word out of my parents’ mouths. So I grew up not learning any foul language, nor did I learn any slang. Of course, I learned it pretty fast once I left home at age 18, but by then I was disciplined enough to know it was a bad thing. My parents had a gun in the house, it was mentioned, but I never saw it or knew where it was kept. That was my parents’ tacid way of teaching me gun control.


    1. Elena: I was shocked and saddened when reading your comment- it is one of the most uncompassionate responses imaginable. A local family is grieving and we should pay our respects to the victim and offer our condolences to the family. We need to allow time to mourn the loss of a young woman who will be missed by many in our community.


  2. There are a lot of good kids!

    These are terrible things, and Brian Varela needed to get a much, much longer sentence. But “Kids no longer learn that, not around here” is simply untrue. Plenty do, and plenty of our kids are wonderful teens and will become great adults: just look sometime at the Student/Athlete of the Month in the Edmonds Beacon, go visit a Scout group and look at some of the things Eagle Scouts do. I coached and taught for many years, and I am proud of what my students and athletes have become: business people, plant managers, a doctor, an architect, a sea captain, several Olympians and an Olympic coach…

    Bad things and people are always with us. But so are good people. The real challenge is how to deal with or prevent the bad ones, and that’s another topic – but we should not ignore or abandon or respect for the good kids and their parents.


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