FOLLOWUP: Murder charge filed in longtime West Seattleite’s ‘road rage’ shooting death near Costco

Last month we reported on the search for witnesses to a shooting near Costco that police originally described as “road rage.” It happened on 4th Avenue South on July 21st, and the victim was a 68-year-old longtime West Seattleite named Bob Jensen. Today, after a tip, we’ve just confirmed via court documents that the man who admitted to shooting Mr. Jensen is in jail, charged Friday with second-degree murder. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office summarizes the shooting as:

On Thursday, July 21, 2022, the defendant was involved in an altercation with the victim close to the Costco parking lot in Seattle, just after 10 am in the morning. The confrontation began when the defendant refused to allow the victim to merge his vehicle in front of the defendant’s car when the street they were traveling on (4th Avenue South, Seattle) reduced from two lanes to one. Both vehicles continued driving for less than a mile and proceeded to stop at an intersection next to Costco. The defendant was the first to come to a stop at the red light, with no cars in front of him, when he saw the victim’s vehicle stop immediately behind his. The victim got out of his vehicle and approached the defendant. The defendant then chose to exit his vehicle and engaged with the victim while armed with a firearm. The victim, an unarmed sixty-eight year old man, was shot by the defendant within seconds of the victim exiting his vehicle.

The suspect, 38-year-old Angel A. Valderrama of Kirkland, was one of five people who called 911 just after the shooting, and was questioned at the scene, but not arrested at the time. The charging documents say Valderrama has no record of criminal convictions and that he did have a concealed-carry permit for the gun, a loaded 9mm Glock handgun that police seized at the scene. The charging documents add, without elaboration, that Valderrama “has had a number of interactions with law enforcement related to his possession of firearms.” He told police that he fired his gun on July 21st because he believed Mr. Jensen had something in his hand that could have been a weapon, but at least one witness said otherwise. The documents also say the shooting was recorded by a camera belonging to Costco, describing the view as “distant and grainy” but saying that the video shows there was “little or no time for any significant interaction between the two men” before Mr. Jensen was shot, and that it contradicts other elements of Valderrama’s story. The documents also say that while Mr. Jensen also had a concealed-carry permit, he was not armed when he was shot, and that no gun was found in his pickup truck, nor anything else that could have been construed as a weapon, aside from a folding pocket knife found beneath papers in the driver’s-door pocket. Valderrama is being held in lieu of $2 million bail; the jail register says he was arrested Saturday afternoon.

56 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Murder charge filed in longtime West Seattleite's 'road rage' shooting death near Costco"

  • Rhonda August 21, 2022 (12:10 pm)

    Once, again: NEVER exit your vehicle to angrily confront another driver. You never know what their evil intentions may be, their state of mind, their motive, etc. They may even simply run you over or stab you out of panic and fear. Traffic snarls are just not worth losing your life over.

  • Lucy August 21, 2022 (12:43 pm)

    This is unfortunate. There were at least two opportunities to have avoided the death of a human entirely.  The first, and most obvious, is for one to have just allowed the other to merge into his lane.  The other, is to have driven away when someone gets out of the car to be confrontational.  All because egos got big.  This was not worth dying for, or killing for.  Peace be with both parties.  

    • R2 August 21, 2022 (1:52 pm)

      It doesn’t sound like the victim even had time to drive away, and since the shooter was in front of him, the victim may not have had a way out.

      • OneTimeCharley August 21, 2022 (2:18 pm)

        R2, your explanation does not explain the victim getting out of his vehicle. Plus there are two lanes Northwards at that point. The victim getting out of his vehicle at the light was undoubtedly an escalation, however that is not to say that the victim was wholly at fault. If the shooter felt threatened, he could have driven straight through the intersection against the signal to avoid the confrontation. Yes it would be a moving violation, but no cop would ticket you if you explained what had just happened. Also, for a cop to see the violation, he/she would probably have also seen what prompted it. It’s also fair to point out that driving straight through the intersection against the light would be EXACTLY what most people would do if the person behind them got out of their vehicle with what appeared to be a weapon. It sounds like the shooter welcomed the confrontation though because…well, cause ‘mine’s bigger’. What a senseless waste of human lives AND community resources. 

      • Lucy August 21, 2022 (2:51 pm)

        The victim was behind the defendant.  The victim got out of the car first.  There was no one in front of the defendant.  I would have run the red light and gone on with my day.  Instead, the defendant got out of his car, confronted the victim, who was behind him and shot him.  

      • WS Res August 21, 2022 (3:32 pm)

        Mr. Jensen is the victim of the murder.  But he was the instigator of the escalation in the road rage incident – he got out of his car at the stoplight to confront Mr. Valderrama. It’s a terrible shame Mr. Valderrama didn’t just drive away.

        • WS Guy August 21, 2022 (4:59 pm)

          He got out of the car at the stoplight.  That’s all you know.  Maybe he was approaching to apologize?  It was a risky decision for sure, but please stick to the facts.

          • waikikigirl August 21, 2022 (5:46 pm)

            Exactly! No one knows what exactly happened but the two of them and now it is one-sided unless an eye witness comes forward if there is one. Bob could had gotten out because he thought he bumped the other car…we don’t know do we? He was a good guy, a very good guy.robert-jensen-8169523

          • WestSeattleBadTakes August 21, 2022 (6:54 pm)

            Facts or reality isn’t something most of the folks here subscribe to.

          • Barnaby Jones August 21, 2022 (9:49 pm)

            There are no facts in the prosecutor’s statement or in the police report to support any speculation about apologies or accidentally bumping him, though there are endless, remote possibilities. It’s possible he got out of the car to complement the defendant on his shirt, but it’s never a good idea to get out of your car at an intersection and confront someone, good guy or not. That doesn’t mean he deserved to die…just sucks that he escalated it.It will be interesting to see how a jury makes sense of someone getting out of their car and approaching another person in what is described as a “road rage” incident. Prosecutor may not be able to convince them beyond a reasonable doubt.

          • Reed August 23, 2022 (2:40 am)

            I’m betting dollars to doughnuts this will be a slam dunk case for the prosecution. The defendant can’t claim that he feared for his life, justifying the use of deadly force, when he had multiple outs of the situation. Nothing was preventing him from driving away, and once he was out of his car, nothing was preventing him from fleeing and taking cover from the scary old man yelling at him. In the eyes of the law, the defendant is F’ed.

        • andy August 22, 2022 (5:52 am)

          The victim should not have gotten out of his vehicle and approached the defendant.

        • Graciano August 22, 2022 (8:16 am)

          Instigator of his shooting/death, yes it was a mistake to get out of vehicle but an instigator??? Did you read any of the SPD’s story? a camera belonging to Costco, describing the view as “distant and grainy” but saying that the video shows there was “little or no time for any significant interaction between the two men” before Mr. Jensen was shot, and that it contradicts other elements of Valderrama’s story.”

        • momosmom August 24, 2022 (12:29 pm)

          WS Res and Barnaby Jones: Read the KING 5 story and do you still think Bob Jensen was the instigator or the person doing wrong, yes wrong to get out of his car in these days of road rage but don’t think Mr. Valderrama is so innocent in all of this. 281-a152a2ad-9dc1-4b27-8674-c78aeb74d778

  • WestSeattleBadTakes August 21, 2022 (1:29 pm)

    Was Mr. Jensen cheating the line though?

    According to some of our very civil and very rational neighbors, this detail is critical in order for us to properly understand whether Mr. Valderrama was justified in his initial act of road rage.

    Of course, there is no justification for any of this behavior. And anyone who defends road rage when it serves their interests doesn’t deserve to be on the road. That includes not allowing someone to merge or change lanes because you’ve decided they have done something wrong (or for any other reason outside of safety). You can see right here how that aggressive and unnecessary action can lead to dangerous situations for all involved.

    We may well need more details and there are many we may never know. But on its face, if Mr. Valderrama had simply let Mr. Jensen merge, we wouldn’t be reading this sad story.

    I hope Mr. Jensen’s family and friends find peace, and that Mr. Valderrama is held accountable for his actions. 

    • Frustrated August 21, 2022 (2:17 pm)

      Are you seriously trying to compare this event to not being happy when someone (intentionally) cuts the line at the 5-way intersection by Chelan?

  • Let it be August 21, 2022 (2:57 pm)

    Why not just let people merge, as an act of peace and kindness? Sometimes people simply make mistakes while driving, not everyone is trying to cheat you by getting ahead. And those who are, well, why not just take the high road? The aggression out there is off the charts.

    This incident makes me sad. For the victim, and also for the defendant, who now has to live with the consequences of his violent choices. Wonder if he regrets carrying a weapon now.

    Maybe something like a required annual meditation/emotional regulation class for all drivers could help? It could even be an online thing.

  • Seattlite August 21, 2022 (3:36 pm)

    Angel A. Valderrama is a cold blooded killer.  Period.  

    • FJB August 21, 2022 (11:06 pm)

      You were not there so you can’t say crap 

      • m August 22, 2022 (4:43 am)

        Well the prosecutor wasn’t there either, but is still filing a 2nd degree murder charge.   

    • Mark August 24, 2022 (8:06 pm)


  • RickB August 21, 2022 (3:41 pm)

    So I think it’s pretty clear that without a gun being in the picture, nobody would have died. Any pro-2A folks have any thoughts?

    • Sasquatch August 21, 2022 (4:29 pm)

      Totally agree. Everybody seems to have a gun.  I’m glad that murderer is in jail and I hope he stays there. Good job SPD. Maybe the hot heads who feel the need to travel around with guns and drive aggressively will take notice. If you have kids learning to drive, make sure you teach them how to avoid confrontations! 

    • WS Guy August 21, 2022 (4:46 pm)

      (1). That’s not pretty clear.  You don’t know what would have transpired.

      (2).  It’s also possible that somewhere else in the city, a life was saved thanks to the deterrence of a gun needed for personal protection.  That nonevent would not make the news.

      (3).  The number of people killed in individual shootings still pales in comparison to the tens of millions lost to governmental genocide against their unarmed populations.  Protection against a tyrannical government is, as you know, the primary purpose of the 2A.

      Those are my thoughts thank you for asking.

      • K August 21, 2022 (8:14 pm)

        And the pro gun crowd joins in.

        • Jethro Marx August 22, 2022 (9:10 am)

          Although tempting, you probably should not take WS Guy’s comments as some sort of statement on behalf of all gun owners.  The shooter is allowed to buy and use both cars and guns. He should clearly not be trusted with either. He will lose his right to own a gun if he is convicted of a felony. Most of us do not need to resort to inane “but but but what about yadayadayada good guy with a gun” or “the government is coming to genocide me, AAARGH…” or whatever other illogical nonsense one will harvest here by asking for “pro-2A” input. Most of us grew up hunting and shooting, have not and will not ever shoot or even point a gun at a person outside of war, and will not agree with illogical nonsense about how dangerous we are. The loudest voices on both sides of the debate are stupid.

    • WestSeattleBadTakes August 21, 2022 (4:59 pm)

      So I think it is pretty clear that without cars being in the picture, nobody would have died. Any pro-car folks have any thoughts?

      • Chuck Jacobs August 22, 2022 (12:22 pm)

        “So I think it’s pretty clear that without a gun being in the picture, nobody would have died. Any pro-2A folks have any thoughts?”. Could’ve beat him with a lug wrench, could’ve stabbed him with a knife, could’ve pushed him backwards causing him to trip and hit his head leading to a blood clot and stroke.  Not every incident involving a gun needs to be a 2nd ammendment debate.

      • Mark August 24, 2022 (8:08 pm)

        People that carry guns are cowards.  Cowards looking for trouble.  Never in my life have I had any need to carry or own a handgun. 

        • Chuck Jacobs August 24, 2022 (10:00 pm)

          That’s not a nice thing to say about police officers.

  • TJ August 21, 2022 (4:37 pm)

    Pro 2A guy here. Guy with a gun overrated. That’s it. A few things could have prevented this. The victim could have not got out and confronted the defendant. The city could have fixed the stupid overpass on 4th that goes to one lane instead of sitting on it for years now. It’s a waste of energy complaining about the 2nd amendment. Its not going anywhere. Hundreds of millions of guns in the country. I own 9. They aren’t going anywhere. Get tough on existing gun laws then get back to me 

    • OneTimeCharley August 21, 2022 (5:13 pm)

      Hey TJ. May I ask what existing gun laws are not being properly enforced? I see this stated frequently, but have no idea what gun laws are not being utilized effectively. May I ask for your thoughts on what laws already on the books you are referring too? Thanks much.

      • Peter S. August 21, 2022 (9:13 pm)

        Here’s an easy example of what TJ is referring to.  Yes, the author leans notably on the conservative side.  Doesn’t change the facts.
          >>  Police say 16-year-old Derrick Alexander was caught with a handgun and fentanyl with the intent to distribute — twice. But judges on both occasions chose to release the suspect rather than hold him in jail.  <<Ref:

        • OneTimeCharley August 21, 2022 (10:37 pm)

          So a judge made a poor decision, and that means that the 2A is sacrosanct? Got it. Should the judge have been less lenient because the perpetrator was holding a pistol and ammo? I thought that was the sort of infringement that 2A supporters are against? TJ said “Get tough on existing gun laws”. What gun law was not applied fully in that case?

          • Peter S. August 22, 2022 (9:37 am)

            Sheeesh.  Why be so antagonistic?  You asked for examples of existing gun laws that “are not being properly enforced”.  A 16 year old shouldn’t even be in possession of a firearm.  Let alone, twice in a month.  Yet, he was released both times on essentially PR.  Seems like a fair example of existing gun laws that are not being effectively enforced.  Nothing to do with the 2A.

          • WSB August 22, 2022 (10:22 am)

            Lest some readers get a mistaken impression: Being released, on bail or otherwise, does not equal “not enforcing” a law. It is, for better or worse, a judge’s discretion. And being released without being charged – as is the case in this very story (a charge filed one month later) – does not necessarily mean you’ll never be prosecuted. Charges can be filed weeks, months, sometimes years later. – TR

    • Pietro August 21, 2022 (6:34 pm)

      The city would love to fix the overpass on 4th Ave S.  The problem is, it goes over BNSF land and the railroad will not give them access to do the work as it would require shutting down tracks.  That overpass may need to collapse before permission is granted. 

      • nothend August 21, 2022 (7:16 pm)

          The 4th av bridge easement is owned by Union Pacific, not BNSF.     I’ve contacted both.    UP says they’re still waiting on a viable plan and schedule from SDoT.   Tho i feel it’s not important in this thread. 

    • Reed August 23, 2022 (2:30 am)

      It is also a waste of energy to continually complain about the traffic here, placing all the blame on the government, while you continue with your antiquated driving habits in a city that is exploding in population. You want to see the problem, look in the mirror.

  • Dean Fuller August 21, 2022 (5:44 pm)

    Perhaps now is the time for all to start understanding and obeying the basic traffic laws?  When your lane is ending, it is your duty to yield to cars in the lane you wish to merge into.  Anger over being forced to obey the rules is unjustified.  This is not an argument that the shooting was justified.  It’s only to demonstrate that small rule violations can (rarely) result in extreme negative consequences.

    • Kevin on Delridge August 21, 2022 (6:40 pm)

      Just as it is the duty of those in the merge lane to allow cars to enter the lane. Anger over someone “cutting” or generally just being a.. you know… is unjustified.

      I am sure you can tell the difference between someone denying access to the lane and someone moving normally to safely allow space. Heck, you might be one of the deniers.

      • RC August 21, 2022 (7:41 pm)

        State law and city ordinance name no duty for a driving in a lane to allow drivers to merge. It is absolutely the friendly and traffic-reducing thing to do, but the duty to merge falls solely on the merging lane and they may just have to wait. 

      • Rob Saarinen August 22, 2022 (4:57 am)

        It is not unjustified to get fed up with drivers trying to pass everyone waiting in the merge lane, because they are too important to wait.  Many of these drivers wait till the very last minute, or don’t even try to merge.  They are rude.  Some act like if the road is ending it’s other people’s problem.  It’s totally their problem.  They should merge early and wait.  

        • Auntie August 22, 2022 (10:24 am)

          Unfortunately, we are relying on common sense and common courtesy. Many last-minute-mergers lack both, being very entitled and in a big hurry. Sure, there are those who aren’t familiar with the road and find themselves in a last-minute-merge situation, but I believe those are far and few between.

  • TJ August 21, 2022 (7:58 pm)

    This guy should never get out of prison. That’s a deterrent right there to using your gun in a dumb manner. Seattle had a reputation as a laid back city to drive in. But not anymore. The bridge out of commission was just the icing on the cake. You can only poke a bear so many times, and this city has done that. Reducing speed limits, bus lanes, bike lanes, “street calming”, stupid road configuration (Avalon), the broken bridge, people trying to cut in line. If my 76 year old aunt who supposedly hadn’t honked at anyone in years now says she gets seething mad driving, you know it’s bad. 

    • Reed August 23, 2022 (2:21 am)

      Perhaps your aunt should join you in the conservative utopia of Arizona then? I hear Phoenix has absolutely no traffic issues.

  • anonyme August 22, 2022 (10:44 am)

    This is just one of many reasons I don’t drive.  It seems like any kind of effed-up attitude gets magnified when humans get behind the wheel of a car.  Add to that the fact that a huge number of people think that no rules apply to them, and this is what we get – on the road, and off.

  • Lola August 22, 2022 (11:50 am)

    Why can’t the City fix this part of the Bridge?  It would save a lot of Road Rage from quite a few people on a daily basis.  I see Cars all the time Race up in that Right hand lane just to cut in front of the long line on the left.  It is an Accident Waiting to happen every day going across this. 

  • Diane Fields August 22, 2022 (11:54 am)

    It would be great if the railroad and the city could come to some agreement over repairing this bridge so it could be 2 lanes again.  Been across here many a time where others feel that they need to be in front.  Then we are at the light at the same time.  It can be quite comical, but also irritating.  Not worth dying over though.  Not worth it.  

  • Scarlett August 22, 2022 (12:04 pm)

    My significant other doesn’t think civility come naturally here on the road or other.  Says it always feels forced, like its acting.  For example letting someone merge, where in other places you just do it without overthinking it and worrying if someone is getting over on you.       

  • Marcus August 22, 2022 (1:25 pm)

    Rest in Peace Bob.  I knew you and you were a friend.  

  • Dean Fuller August 22, 2022 (3:12 pm)

    it is the duty of those in the merge lane to allow cars to enter the lane. ”  That is a legal absurdity, not to mention false.  It would mean both drivers have a duty to yield the same patch of pavement.  See how absurd that is?

  • WTF August 22, 2022 (6:44 pm)

    All armchair quarterbacking aside, don’t effing shoot someone because you are mad. It’s pretty simple logic.

  • helpermonkey August 23, 2022 (8:46 am)

    So much disgusting victim blaming here. You people need serious help if the all the end of a human life inspires in you is to be a giant jerk. RIP Mr. Jensen. 

  • Marcus August 23, 2022 (10:45 am)

    Discussing road rage.  Interesting there was guy riding my bumper on Alki yesterday.  You know getting close but still just far enough away, matching my speed exactly as I was going 25-30mph around the construction and enjoying the scenic attributes of Harbor Drive and Alki.  Then we  passed a parked SPD cruiser, now that guy pulled back way back to a nice relaxed distance.  So makes you wonder if we had enough police assigned to traffic patrol and stationed at points of concern varying daily—there might be a bit less issues with road rage, merging, speeding, etc.   And maybe my old friend from high school would still be alive today.

  • Ben Jammin August 29, 2022 (8:20 am)

    ego + gun = murder

Sorry, comment time is over.