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Originally published July 17, 2010 at 10:02 PM | Page modified July 19, 2010 at 12:15 PM

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Two dead, four wounded at Lake Sammamish State Park

Two people are dead and four injured from gunshots Saturday night at Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Two men are dead and four injured from a barrage of gunshots fired around 9 p.m. at a party Saturday at Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah.

King County Sheriff's Office spokesman John Urquhart said police had at least six people in custody. Police recovered one gun from the scene, he said, and several more guns in a car attempting to leave the park.

Urquhart said police believe several guns were stashed in the park immediately after the shooting, and police were making sure they were recovered.

Ed Boyle, Swedish Medical Center spokesman, said a 29-year-old man with gunshot injuries was treated at Swedish's emergency facility in Issaquah, which is close to the entrance to the park, and was transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Two other wounded men were also taken to Harborview; the fourth was taken to Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, Urquhart said.

Early Sunday morning, one man was in serious condition and the other two were in satisfactory condition, Harborview's nursing supervisor said.

"Our victims, we don't know if they're innocent victims, people caught in a crossfire, suspects, or other shooters," Urquhart said. "It's quite possible there was more than one shooter."

He said officers from four jurisdictions were interviewing those in custody.

"People were hiding in the bathrooms to get away from the shooting," Urquhart said.

Police agencies responding to the incident included the State Patrol, Bellevue and Issaquah police departments.

Urquhart said the park was locked down Saturday night after the shooting.

"Right now we don't know what caused this shooting," he said. "We don't really have any details whatsoever. It's a pretty chaotic scene. It's difficult for us to sort out what exactly happened."

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At the park, Dawn Hilliker said she watched police lead away at least 20 people in handcuffs, and take at least a dozen witnesses to the park's visitor center to be interviewed. Most appeared to be in their late teens and 20s, she said.

Hilliker and her two teenaged sons spent the day in the park celebrating a friend's high school graduation. They were packing up their car to leave when 17-year-old Austin Hilliker and his brother Riley, 14, heard several loud bangs from 250 yards away.

"I thought some kids were setting off firecrackers, but 30 seconds later, I saw three cops driving down the street," Austin Hilliker said. "I saw three people arrested, two of them no more than 20 feet from our car. It was super scary. It's shocking."

The family waited two hours to leave the park, as police stopped every vehicle on the way out, Dawn Hilliker said. "There were families everywhere. There was a birthday party to the left of us, and a family get-together to the right. People were playing volleyball, and everybody in the park was having a really great time. And the next thing you know, the cops came in."

Hilliker said she taught her sons to stay away from places where they might encounter gang violence. "You don't think coming to a graduation celebration at a state park that you would enter into that kind of environment. We came here to celebrate and ended up a part of chaos."

Meanwhile, a number of young people gathered at Harborview, where the victims were being treated.

At the park, police were still interviewing possible witnesses late into the night. He also said the public should assume the park will be closed Sunday.

"We had a nice Saturday night with lots of people in the park when the shooting happened, so we have a lot of work to do," Urquhart said.

Lake Sammamish State Park, at the south end of Lake Sammamish in Issaquah, is a popular gathering place for boating and watersport activities.

Seattle Times staffers Sara Jean Green, Steve Ringman, Steve Miletich, Ken Lambert and Mike Siegel contributed to this report.

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