Officer Mike McClaughry meets with blinded teen

Credit: Mount Vernon Police Department

14-year-old Andy Gonzalez-Barrera was riding in a car with his family December 20, 2018 around 11:00pm on southbound SR 509 near Seattle when the passenger window was shot out and subsequently lost his vision. Today, retired Officer Mike McClaughry met Andy for lunch at the Washington Criminal Justice Training Commission. Andy who wanted to be a police officer when he grew up was thrilled. Officer McClaughry was a coin collector growing up so he brought several coins asking Andy to feel and describe what he was holding. When Andy would get stuck, Officer McClaughry would coach him to feel the edges and the size and Andy would quickly identify the proper coin. The last coin was a fifty cent piece that Mike said was very special to him. It came from his personal coin collection and it was one of two he carried with him wherever he went. He wanted Andy to have the coin to commemorate their special bond.

The luncheon was arranged by members of the law enforcement task force investigating Andy’s shooting. King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknect, WSP Captain Ron Mead, Des Moines Police Chief Ken Thomas and a variety of law enforcement staff were present to support Andy and Officer McClaughry.

The suspect in this case is still at large so anyone with information can make a tip at:

Task Force Tip Line – (425) 401-7880
Task Force Email – sr509shootingtip@wsp.wa.gov
Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound at http://www.P3Tips.com. or call 1-800-222-TIPS

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