Teen Shot, Killed on South Hill Playground near Puyallup

A teenager’s family is reeling after he was shot and killed in a Puyallup playground Saturday night.

Now his family is offering a reward to find his killer.

The deadly shooting happened around 3 a.m. in the Lipoma Firs neighborhood near Puyallup.

The family has identified the victim as 19-year-old Keylen Lynell Collins.

His family members have been showing up there. They started coming at about 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

A cousin of the victim talked about the teenager whose life ended in gunfire early Sunday morning.

“He was a really good guy,” said Desiree Perry. “We just had a family reunion in August. So, he came.”

Perry found out Sunday morning, that she will never see her cousin alive again.

“I got a phone call from my mother early in the morning,” she said. “So, I kind of felt something.”

According to Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies, a group of people was holding a party at the basketball court in the Lipoma Firs housing development on Puyallup’s South Hill.

There was an argument that turned violent around 3 a.m.

“I hear like two different strings or runs of just like fast automatic guns shooting,” said Erwin Melio, here visiting his mother. “It wasn’t very loud. So, I knew it was a small caliber.”

Only Collins was still at the scene when deputies arrived.  Everyone else had scattered.

“It’s unnerving,” said Erin Safford. “And it seems to happen more in Pierce County. It’s still, it’s horrible.”

Safford has lived in this neighborhood for five years. She says the playground has become a magnet for groups of mostly young people late into the night.

She was asked if it was happening during the summer.

“A lot of times, it was,” she said. “But I think there were some not-so-great activities going on later.”

“We’re talking very dangerous,” said Toni, a Lipoma Firs resident for three years.

The woman declined to share her last name but says her neighborhood has undergone a transformation in the last year.

“I’m afraid to go out and check my mail in the night,” Toni said. “And it’s very scary. But this is just the beginning. I want people to understand this is the beginning. Because the crime is too high everywhere.”

Now she wants to move.

The family is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to his killer.

If you know anything about this terrible tragedy, you are asked to call 911.

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