Updated: Girl, 13, dies after being shot at Alderwood Mall; Edmonds teen to be booked for murder

Jayda Woods-Johnson (Photo courtesy Lynnwood police)

Updated at 10:45 p.m.

A 13-year-old girl struck by errant gunfire at Alderwood Mall died Wednesday, Lynnwood police said.

The victim, Jayda Woods-Johnson, was shot at about 6:05 p.m. According to Lynnwood police, an altercation broke out between two groups of teenagers, at which point a teen male pulled out a handgun and fired at least one shot. The victim was nearby and wasn’t part of the conflict, authorities said.

The suspected shooter has been identified as a 16-year old male from Edmonds. He was brought into a police station by his mother and turned himself in. He is now in police custody and will be booked into jail for murder, police said.

Paramedics rush the victim to the aid car Wednesday.

According to witnesses at the scene, the shooting occurred near the mall’s food court. The mall was locked down for safety and police determined after a search that the suspect had left the area

The gun has not yet been recovered. Detectives are continuing to follow all leads and collect all available evidence, police said.

“The Lynnwood Police Department expresses our deepest sympathy to Jayda’s family and friends for their unimaginable loss due to this senseless act of violence,” Deputy Chief Patrick Fagan said in a statement.

— Story and photo by Jasmine Contreras-Lewis

  1. Condolences to the family of this Girl. 1 more reason why teenagers shouldn’t have access to ADULT things. Rarely are they mature enough to think about possible consequences of their actions..My 12yr old son from NYC visiting his cousins was at that food court and called his mother terrified after everyone scattered from the shots…Thank God he wasn’t a victim..once again Condolences to that poor girls family

  2. What a tragic senseless death of this young woman. It is like a gut punch to read this. And we don’t need better gun control?? When will it be time to seriously address the issue and do something more than platitudes and crying but it’s my 2nd Amendment right? What about the rest of us who have a right to not be shot while out enjoying time with friends. Who feels safe being out in a crowd anywhere anymore. Look around and figure that several people around you are carrying. My sincere condolences to Jayda’s family and friends.

    1. We don’t infringe on the rights of one because of others. Doing so would allow government too much control and then they start limiting and/or denying your other right/s. What you can do is push to have suspects spend many many years in prison doing hard labor. And if caught…No bail.

    2. Well put Melissa Johnson

      I’ll add that most adolescents and teens and most young adults just don’t have impulse control skills nor do most of them have a clue about anger management and how to get in touch with their anger and try to manage it.

      We all have anger, we all get angry, however those who learn how to define what makes them angry and attempt to at least manage it are the successful ones.

      My heart goes out to a lost young life due to teenage boy anger.

      1. What made you think that there isn’t an age restriction?
        In Washington State, it is a crime to possess a firearm if you are under the age of 18. Under federal law it is illegal to sell a firearm to someone who is under 18 years old.

    1. Parental control? I’m guessing the parents of those teenage boys just might themselves have problems in parenting, responsibilities in parenting, parental maturity, etc.

  3. Very tragic, condolences to all the families involved. Thankful the shooter’s mother turned her son in. The Seattle times & many other local & national news outlets highlight the spike in violent crime committed by juveniles, starting in 2020. More complicated than 1 issue but our WA legislators fueled the fire, by making it harder for police to interview juveniles (recently highlighted by Seattle Times; impeding the Garfield High School Murder investigation). I could go on and on, do some research; revolving door criminal justice system when it comes to violent youth.

  4. Would it be possible for Alderwood Mall to have metal detectors at entrances? It sounds intrusive for normal shoppers, but one person saved from death would make it worth it!

    1. There are billions of guns out in our society! The futility of gun control is that it will not work. The availability will still be there. If not in dad’s gun locker, through a friend or gang member. Gangs have a prominent place in our schools and pose a threat to students. Control the gangs with firmer action needs to be done. There should be appropriate punishment with incarceration for gang members who commit crimes! I think judges in Washington have been way too soft. Create an offense and they’re back to school the next day! I’m sorry, but all of you who preach gun-control are missing the real problem here…and it lives, breathes and has two legs, plus a finger to pull the trigger! Let’s see if we can somehow help the gang members take a better path, but first, they need to have some tough love!

  5. This is too frequent a happening in this country. How did a teen get a gun?? There is an adult who needs to be held accountable.

  6. Don’t you all think it’s time to consider the possibility of something as tragic as this coming to your community, neighborhood, or family? We’ve waited for “others” to provide the solution to this proliferation of guns when the solution may indeed rest with each of us doing something constructive and proactive. Pressure needs to be applied to the politicians who are supposed to be creating the laws that are meant to provide that protection and it’s not happening because we not been adequately considering how close to “home” this could be. We need to imagine that reality.

  7. This is such heartbreaking news.
    My condolences to the families and all others affected by this senseless,
    unnecessary tragedy.

  8. I hope there will be a thorough investigation of how a firearm came into the 16 year-old shooter’s possession.

    Stolen? Then probably improperly stored. Add theft charges.
    Taken from parents? Improperly stored. Parental responsibility.
    Given by parents? Probably not, as his mother brought him in.

    But if negligence in storing the firearm is proven, I hope there will be consequences.

    1. How about sending a message to our youth, they will be held accountable for their actions. That’s not the message WA is communicating as mentioned in my previous post. Filling our jails with people who may have made a mistake in storage is not the answer. No room for the real culprits.

      1. And just as important the community needs to send a message to our youth, there are others ways to resolve conflict. Now I sound like my parents, but Video games, music, tv, all glorify violence. A gun is the way to solve your problems, that’s the message teens get from various forms of entertainment.

      2. Do not trivialize “mistakes in storage.” If an unsecured firearm is picked up by a child and someone gets shot, and in this tragedy killed, then the adult in charge of that firearm must be held accountable. If that “fills our jails,” then so be it. Maybe more gun owners will become more responsible.

        In addition to jail time, there’s also civil liability. The parents and/or the adult source of this firearm should be on the receiving end of a lawsuit in civil court. Gun owners need to be held to account when their negligence results in injury or death. Courts can and will award money damages for the harm resulting from firearm negligence.

        I refuse to accept needless gun homicides as just unfortunate collateral damage, something to be endured for the sake of the Second Amendment.

        1. Roger how is the state to prove a firearm wasn’t secured? Is the mere fact that a gun was stolen proof of negligence? Kid buys gun off the street owner says it was in a locked house and had it hidden with a trigger lock, should the owner spend time in jail should they be held responsible in a civil suit? Just what law describes safe storage? Sounds to me you want to punish legal gun owners who have tried to keep the firearm secure Just because it was stolen and used in a crime.

        2. The state follows the evidence, Jim, and acts accordingly. In many of these senseless gun tragedies, the child takes the gun from the parents’ night stand or other unsecured location. It seems this shooter’s mother is cooperating so hopefully the truth comes out in this case.

          As to theft, many fewer guns would enter the criminal underworld if lawful gun owners kept their weapons locked in a gun safe when not in their immediate personal control. Firearms are inherently dangerous instruments, and they need to be kept secured from theft, facts that responsible gun owners accept.

        3. Someone breaks into a home steals a gun and your logic is to punish the homeowner?

          You’re straying from the topic at hand, a young girl was murdered by a juvenile. We have a sharp rise in juvenile violence and the community, WA electives are sending a message of NO accountability or they deflect accountability.

          You’ll recall WA State Supreme Court struck down Edmonds safe storage laws, and the new WA laws allows up to 5 days to report a stolen firearm, regardless how it was stored.

        4. No, Nick, I’m not straying off-topic, not at all~ this young girl was murdered by a teen with a handgun. But for that firearm, she would be alive today. That kid killed this girl with a gun, and no amount of deflection can obscure that cold, hard, tragic fact.

          Yes, the shooter has to be held accountable under the law, and we need to watch carefully to assure that happens. But we must also acknowledge the need to keep firearms away from children like this shooter. It’s not that hard to do; even the NRA advocates securing your firearms!

          The WA court rejected Edmonds’ safe gun storage ordinance because it was prohibited by state law, not because it is bad policy. RCW 9.41.290 reads in relevant part: “The state of Washington hereby fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state, including the registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms….”

          Cities like Edmonds are prohibited from enacting any firearms legislation if it’s even slightly stricter than state law~ law drafted by the gun lobby BTW and enacted at their request.

        5. Roger I did some poking around it is hard to find the number of juveniles that commit homicide. So I have to make some assumptions. In 2022 there were about 2200 children ages 13-19 that died from homicide that is about one tenth of one percent of the population of children in that age group. Because lack of information about the age of those that committed the the homicides I am going to assume they were also children. Homicides of children under 13 were almost exclusively happened in the home to family members those are certainly preventable with gun locks and safes. Most stolen guns are taken from locked cars not someone’s night stand. Is a gun in a locked car not safely secured? I keep mine in a locked box in the car if I have to leave it in there but that doesn’t stop someone from taking the whole box and cutting it open, if it was stolen and used in a homicide should I be criminally and civilly liable? Last year police recovered about 37 thousand ghost guns which are cheap and can be bought or traded and are the most easily obtained. I can agree that gun owners should take reasonable measures to keep guns out of children’s hands the problem is what is reasonable and how you prove it wasn’t.

    2. Hidden in a locked car that the windows were smashed out of and contents including a firearm were stolen. So a crime would had to have been committed to to steal a gun. My guess is a Great many street guns are ghost guns being supplied by the cartels purchased by teenagers or earned through action, but y’all keep thinking it is a legal gun owner storage problem. Really it is a new problem, society’s of the past had guns laying around and there was almost never a shooting. The culture of violence is the problem, we have lost our way.

  9. Tragedy doesn’t seem a strong enough word for this horrible event. A young girl will never get to experience growing up, going to her prom, college, travel, job and all the things that a life fully lived would include. Her parents and family will suffer forever the loss of their beautiful daughter. A young man’s life is irrevocably changed due to whatever possessed him to fire a weapon for which he had no maturity to understand. But I’m sure all of you remember in 2022 when Edmonds’ gun storage ordinance was tossed out by the Washington State Supreme Court because it was pre-empted by state law (in other words, apparently Edmonds’ ordinance went too far). Then city attorney Jeff Taraday said: “There is no aspect of firearm regulation that is left to the cities,” … Basically the state has preempted the entire field and until the state Legislature changes that law, there is nothing left for cities to regulate in the realm of firearms.” Other than citizens being willing to voluntarily lock up their firearms so children (or burglars) cannot get ahold of them, I don’t know that anything else has been done. Indeed, the question is, how did this kid get the gun? I’m sure we will hear follow-up.

    1. It was illegal for him to have the gun. How about making gang control? El Salvador solved their problems in about a year by locking up all the thugs like this worthless human being. Put him and his mother in jail and throw away the key.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.