A UW student involved in a drive-by shooting in south Seattle last Tuesday evening is recovering according to family members.
The Seattle Police Department (SPD) said the shooting, which landed UW freshman Mikala Ailep and a 19-year-old man in the hospital, was gang-related.
Ailep and the man were driving near the 3100 block of Rainier Avenue South when, according to witnesses, someone fired around 10 shots from a rifle.
Both Ailep and the man were struck multiple times and transported to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
Ailep’s uncle, Kevin Amos, said Ailep was struck in the leg, hand, and neck, and received a grazing wound to her head.
“[Ailep] had surgery to repair her hand, but fragments of the bullet that hit her neck had to be left in there,” Amos said. “It would have been more dangerous to try and take some of the pieces out.”
He also said the family is very grateful and believes she should make a full recovery.
“Unfortunately we don’t know how long it will take her to recover from this emotionally,” Amos said.
He said that his niece could not have been the intended target of the shooting.
“She’s a very strong young lady,” Amos said. “She’s very committed to achievement. … She was valedictorian at Rainier Beach high school in 2011 … and was able to get a scholarship to the University of Washington. She wants to go into medicine.”
Amos said he doesn’t know anything about the man she was with. He said he knew this niece had dated the man in the past, but was not sure if they were still involved.
SPD Detective Renee Witt did not comment on who investigators believe was the intended target of the shooting and said they have no suspects. However, she reiterated that police still believe it was gang-related.
“Officers know the players involved,” Witt said. “They’re familiar with the victims.”
Amos said he believes the police must have been speaking about the young man and that, although his niece was a victim in a shooting that might be gang-related, there is no evidence that she has anything involvement with gangs.
“First of all, the police have no contact with my niece,” Amos said. “She has no criminal record.”
The police have not released any information on the 19-year-old man who was in the vehicle with Ailep.
Reach reporter Jimmy Lovaas at email@example.com. Twitter: @jimmylovaas
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