Teens Plead Guilty to Drive-By Cat Shooting Spree

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Residents of Clark County WA grieved and worried earlier this year as cat after cat was shot dead or wounded in a months long drive-by shooting spree which stretched from March through June 5. Eventually, Mitchell S. Kangas, 16, Jaren M. Koistinen, 16, and Riley J. Munger, 17, were arrested after a resident reported to police that her 7-year-old cat, Nellie, was shot in the face at 7:30 p.m. on Northeast Third Avenue in Battle Ground. She saw the shooters and described their blue SUV, and police quickly spotted the vehicle, found two rifles and undreds of bullets, and made the arrests. Nellie was the second of the family’s cats to have been shot by the spree killers; another family pet, Lucy, had previously been found laying bloodied on the ground.

The three are thought to have shot over 100 cats, and admitted that they had shot at least 50. On September 14, the teens made a deal with prosecutors and pled guilty. They will receive fairly light sentences, by our estimation.

Koistenen and Kangas both pled guilty to one count of drive-by shooting and 12 counts of animal cruelty. They told the judge they took turns with driving and shooting the animals from the car. The prosecution is asking 2 years in juvenile detention for Kangas and Koistinen, and one month in juvenile detention for Munger. The defense wants 1 year for Kangas and Koistinen.

Kangas admitted on audio and video when questioned by police that he and Koistinen had shot up to 100 cats and 2 dogs and hurt or killed 50 of them. According to court documents, the shooters never got out of the car to check on the animals and Kangas said “Sometimes the cats would fall over and die, other times the cats would jump up and run away.” Kangas said the rifles belonged to his father, who was unaware of their use.

As though the acts were not sickening and hurtful enough, Kangas said that he considers the shootings sport hunting.

A second hearing today determined that entencing will be made at on October 4, after review of psychological documents and consultation with Juvenile Court staff. The two shooters are currently under house arrest and staying with their parents when not at school or work.

After today’s hearing, prosecutors said it had been a tough call whether to charge the teens – 16 and 17 at the time of the shootings – as juveniles rather than adults, and they were charged as juveniles. Clark county Deputy Prosecutor Kasey Vu defended the decision, saying “Throwing them into the adult prison system, chances are they probably wouldn’t get the psychological evaluation and therapy they obviously need.”

10 thoughts on “Teens Plead Guilty to Drive-By Cat Shooting Spree”

  1. The first question that came to my mind is WHY after having one cat shot, would you let another out?!?
    These kids were surely showing signs of being unstable before this. I’m curious as to how many people ignored their behavior.

  2. Another reason to keep your cats as inside only kitties. I would never have an outside cat ever again. My 4 are safe inside.

  3. i agree with smogzilla, I never let my cats out and the woman who adopted my cats after she died they were all alone and one of my cats ate a rat that had been poisoned and she died. it is so sad. if she had been kept in the house this would never have happened. Keep your babies inside!!! always unless you have contructed a big Catico outside so they cant get out of your yard…

  4. How easy will it be for them to start shooting people? I hope that they get severe punishments. But in todays liberal oh we must help these monsters who knows what kind of sentence they will get! Poor little innocent animals- they deserve justice.

  5. Donna, I have a definite opinion on the uselessness of therapy to change the character of these two (and others), and had to restrain myself from launching a tirade on the subject. It is particularly disturbing to me that the prosecutor wants them coddled.

  6. Be sure to post the date when they are going to stand them outside so we can drive by and shoot at them!

    Their parents must be so proud….poster children for planned parenthood…

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