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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

May 16, 2014 at 5:50 AM

50-plus bullets: Police ‘systematically work’ block shot up in drive-by

Five vehicles and five businesses were struck by gunfire  in the 9400 block of Rainier Avenue South.  (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Five vehicles and five businesses were struck by gunfire in the 9400 block of Rainier Avenue South. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Police plan to increase patrols after the occupants of a car fired dozens of gunshots in a South Seattle neighborhood, damaging five businesses and five vehicles last night.

However, Capt. John  Hayes, who heads the Seattle Police Department’s South Precinct, concedes increasing patrols is “a cliché statement.”

“What I’m going to do is pull together all of the resources we have available, anyone I can get, and systematically work this area,” a frustrated Hayes said this morning.

A witness told police a black sedan, possibly a Toyota Camry, was driven onto the 9400 block of Rainier Avenue South just after 11 p.m. and the occupants opened fire. The witness said he heard 25 shots from what he believes was a high-powered rifle.

Responding officers found 39 shell casings from a rifle, possible an AK-47, and 14 shells from a handgun, police said. The bullets broke windows on a barber shop, a pizza restaurant and a marijuana dispensary.

Spokeswoman Renee Witt said police are unsure whether the shooting was gang-related.

“We don’t know if the dispensary was the target. We really don’t know at this point,” she said

Hayes spent this morning talking to business owners and residents.

“This is a shame because so many community people have worked so hard to revitalize this area. There are some real nice family businesses in this area and the folks who have done this kind of property damage, this kind of stuff, are impacting folks all around this community,” Hayes said. “This is a very safe community.”

It wasn’t immediately known whether the shooting is related to three others in the city in the past week.

On Wednesday, two groups of people opened fire at each other near Othello Playground in the Rainier Valley, but there were no reported injuries, police said. Witnesses told police that one group started shooting at another group around 7:40 p.m. near 45th Avenue South and South Othello Street.

Another shooting occurred just after 11 p.m. Monday when up to 60 rounds were fired from a high-powered rifle and two handguns near an apartment complex in the 9200 block of 56th Avenue South. Police were unable to find any damage at the scene.

The shooting is about one block from last night’s drive-by shooting, police said.

Last Saturday, police investigating reports that a man was being chased by armed subjects found a pickup damaged by several bullets at 18th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Thistle Street.

The driver, a 17-year-old boy, told officers he had no idea why anyone would open fire at him, according to police. Officers found three spent shell casings in an alley in the 7700 block of 18th Avenue Southwest where they believe the shooting occurred.

“This appears to be related to ongoing gang activity centered near the 8400 block of Delridge Way SW,” police wrote in an online account of the shooting.

Just south of Seattle in Renton, a man was shot and wounded at a service station early Thursday morning.

Renton police found the victim, 29, on the ground just before 4 a.m. in the 300 block of Rainier Avenue South. The man is believed to have been inside a black BMW parked at the gas station when he was shot and wounded in the chest and leg, according Renton police spokeswoman Terri Vickers.

Vickeres said police “don’t have much for a suspect description.”


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