Police Still Seeking Leads in Case of Drive-by Shooting Victim

by Neal McNamara

Che’Reonna L. Thomas, 20, was shot in early July a few days before her 20th birthday.

A 20-year-old woman who was shot in a drive-by in South Seattle July 1 has since died, the King County Medical Examiner’s office has confirmed. Che’Reonna L. Thomas, 20, died Aug. 7 of a gunshot wound, and her death was ruled a homicide, according to the medical examiner.

According to Seattle police, Thomas was shot around 2 a.m. July 1 while she was riding in a car. Police said that at least two cars were traveling along the 4500 block of South Willow Street when someone opened fire. Witnesses told police that the two cars were speeding down the street and the occupants were possibly trading shots at each other.

The shooting happened in a dense residential neighborhood between Rainier Avenue South and Martin Luther King Jr. Way South in the Brighton neighborhood. The shooting happened a few days before Thomas’ 20th birthday on July 6.

Thomas was taken to Harborview after the shooting, and it appeared for a moment that her condition was improving. Her family reported in mid-July that she was able to breathe on her own. But on Aug. 5, Thomas’ mother, Patrice Thomas, wrote on Facebook that her daughter had returned to the intensive-care unit.

Che 2
Flyer for Che Thomas’s memorial fundraiser

“I miss my baby sooooooo much,” Patrice Thomas wrote in a recent Facebook post about her daughter.

Thomas is at least the second woman to die in a shooting in the Brighton neighborhood over the last 12 months. In December, My Linh Nguyen, 45, was shot during a robbery near the corner of 39th Avenue South and South Warsaw Street, just a few blocks northwest from the spot where Thomas was shot.

On Monday, Seattle police could not immediately provide an update on the case except that detectives are still investigating. If you have information about the shooting, contact Seattle police at (206)684-5550.

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