BELLEVUE, WA - When a 48-year-old father was shot at his upscale apartment complex, the evidence led detectives to two teenagers who live over 70 miles away, with absolutely no ties to the victim. But when investigators dug deeper, they found the teens were connected to someone close to the victim, and an apparent motive to want him dead.
The vicious shooting of Baron Li is not the kind of case Bellevue PD sees often - or ever.
“It involves a family that’s torn apart. The father of a child and his ex-wife and a custody battle,” says Major Travess Forbush with the Bellevue Police Department.
What happened to Li on the morning of July 10th as he walked out his front door to head to work is what nightmares are made of.
“As he walked to his car he was confronted by an assailant that he didn’t recognize, and the assailant shot him about 8 or 9 times. The victim fell to the ground; the suspect stood over him and continued to fire,” says Forbush.
Incredibly, Li lived.
“He said the only person that he could think of that had anything against him was his ex-wife.”
According to Li, he and his 30-year-old ex-wife had been involved in a bitter fight over their son. “
There was also a financial element to the custody of their child,” says Forbush.
While the ex-wife may have been the only one with an apparent motive, detectives soon found surveillance video led them to two 17-year-olds in Mount Vernon. One of the teens had apparently used a GPS tracker to help pin down Li’s location the night before the shooting. That GPS tracker was the piece of the puzzle that pointed to his ex-wife.
“She had purchased a GPS tracker that we located on the victim’s vehicle,” says Forbush. As far as how the ex-wife met the teens, investigators say they’re still looking into that.
The victim, Baron Li is still recovering from his incredibly extensive injuries after being shot so many times. A GoFundMe has been set up to help with his medical expenses.