MUKILTEO, Wash. -- It’s been just over three years since tragedy took the lives of three young Mukilteo students.
The pain of losing Jake Long, Jordan Ebner and Anna Bui will forever be felt in the tightly knit Snohomish County community and beyond. Now, a place to offer peace and reflection in Mukilteo in their honor is closer to becoming a reality.
Officials say the new park will be designed to champion peace and offer a location for a community to heal together.
In the summer of 2016, three young lives were cut short: Long, Bui, and Ebner, each 19-years-old, were shot and killed by a fellow student. Their deaths sent the Mukilteo community into shock.
“Do we still feel it? You bet we do,” said Paul Kramer.
Kramer’s son Will survived the shooting and spent 17 days in the hospital.
“My son Will is doing well, thanks and gratitude to God that he was spared,” said Kramer. “He was very nearly taken that night.”
And after months of planning and community input, the city of Mukilteo is nearing the final stages before breaking ground on a new park that is designed to help people come together.
“This park will really take advantage of the view and the beauty and a place to really enjoy nature,” said Jeff Price with the city.
A quarter-acre parcel of land along Mukilteo Speedway was donated to the city years ago. Peace Park will eventually become its name. It will offer views of the sound and the lighthouse. It’s meant to be a place to find peace in a world of chaos.
“We want to do it right by the community and the families too,” said Price.
“It’s important that we make a response, and it’s not just for the 2016 shooting,” said Kramer. “We’ve had a series of suicides, teens taking their own lives.”
Peace Park will feature an arbor, benches, a bicycle repair station and subtle reminders of the three young people who were taken.
“We’ve got a couple different ideas,” said Price. “Including some trees that were the favorites trees of one of the young people who died.”
Bids to construct Peace Park are expected to come in this fall and if all goes well, city officials believe the park could be open by late spring next year.