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UPDATE: Redmond Shooting Victim Was 2010 Eastlake Grad

A Sunday shooting claimed the life of 20-year-old Claire Thompson, who grew up in Sammamish.

UPDATE, 1:45 p.m., Feb. 14: The young woman who lost her life in Sunday's fatal Redmond shooting was a 2010 graduate of Eastlake High School, Lake Washington School District spokesman Kathryn Reith confirmed to Patch on Tuesday.

Reith said 20-year-old Claire Thompson grew up in Sammamish and attended Sammamish public schools throughout her childhood.

A 21-year-old Redmond man, Cornelius J. De Jong IV faces charges of first-degree manslaughter in the shooting. Police say he was acting recklessly when he fired a gun into a wall at a weekend house party in the Education Hill area. The bullet struck Thompson, who was in the next room.

De Jong's arraignment has been set for 8:30 a.m. Feb. 27 at the King County Courthouse in Seattle. He is currently being held on $300,000 bail in the King County Jail.

If you knew Thompson and would like to share your thoughts on her life, please contact Redmond Patch editor Caitlin Moran at 425-440-1280 or Caitlin.Moran@patch.com.

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A 21-year-old Redmond man who was charged Monday in the fatal shooting of a woman at a weekend party on Education Hill apparently thought the gun was unloaded when he fired it.

The King County Prosecutor's Office charged Cornelius J. De Jong IV with first-degree manslaughter in the death of Claire E. Thompson, 20, of Seattle. Thompson after being shot in the neck at a party in the 16800 block of NE 97th St. earlier that morning. ( for our earlier story.)

De Jong is being held in the King County Jail on $300,000 bail.

According to the charging documents, witnesses told police De Jong arrived at a house party with a Smith and Wesson .40-caliber handgun, which he was known to carry. The Redmond Police Department had issued De Jong a concealed weapon permit to carry the gun.

Witnesses said De Jong put the gun in a safe because he was planning to drink alcoholic beverages at the party, which was hosted by his friend at a home owned by the friend's grandmother. When another party guest asked to see the weapon, witnesses say the gun was taken out of the safe and its ammunition was removed.

Later on, witnesses say, De Jong put the handgun in an unlocked kitchen cupboard and fell asleep. When he awoke, he noticed the gun was missing and asked another party guest where it was. Witnesses say De Jong was told the gun was under a mattress where two people were lying down.

Witnesses told police that one of those people asked that the gun not be handled by people who had been drinking, at which point De Jong removed the magazine, and, to show others the gun was empty, pointed it at a wall and pulled the trigger, not realizing a live round was in the chamber. The bullet went through the wall and hit Thompson in the neck, charging documents state.

De Jong, though, told police the gun went off when he pulled it out from under the mattress. But charging documents indicate the trajectory of the bullet originated "several feet up from the floor."

Police said De Jong appeared drunk after the incident and refused a breath test. The witness who called to report the shooting told dispatchers, "My best friend shot a girl in the house, he was drunk."

Prosecutors pointed to De Jong's prior criminal convictions in requesting $300,000 bail. He has been convicted of DUI, being a minor intoxicated in public, and two incidents of being a minor in possession of alcohol.

Jeanne Gustafson February 14, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Please share your memories and photos of Claire here. We express our condolences to her family and friends.

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