(UPDATED SUNDAY AFTERNOON – scroll down)
(Photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
9:59 PM: Police and fire are in the 4800 block of 35th SW after a report of a shooting. The scanner says the suspect vehicle MIGHT have been a blue BMW, license plate starting with 478, “last seen northbound on California.” Scanner traffic also indicates the victim is a 46-year-old man shot four times. Our crew will be at the scene shortly.
10:10 PM UPDATE: According to scanner traffic, the man was shot somewhere else and taken to Providence Mount St. Vincent, where police found him. CPR is under way.
10:18 PM UPDATE: Minutes before the victim turned up at The Mount, we had a report of gunshots heard in Morgan Junction – and indeed, police are reporting that’s where the shooting happened, in the 6400 block of California SW. According to SPD via Twitter, he “drove himself” to The Mount, which is not a public hospital but rather a nursing home/retirement facility. He has since been rushed to Harborview Medical Center.
10:37 PM UPDATE: The scene is apparently closer to Morgan Junction Park, according to a witness who told us a vehicle associated with the victim – which we also saw at The Mount – was parked by the construction equipment outside the park. Police are there investigating – we’ve added a photo above.
10:58 PM UPDATE: The photo immediately above this line is the truck in which the victim is reported to have arrived at Providence Mount St. Vincent. We’ve also substituted a clearer photo of the shooting scene by Morgan Junction Park.
2:10 AM: No updates from police so far. We’ll keep following up.
7:13 AM: According to Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams, one person was arrested overnight in connection with the incident. But he said further details would have to come from the SPD Media Relations team (which has not yet published its account of the incident).
7:34 AM: Police have JUST updated SPD Blotter. Here’s what they write:
On 1/21/12 at approximately 9:45 p.m., officers were dispatched to a shots fired call in the 6500 block of California Av SW. The call was updated with the suspect and the victim leaving northbound in separate cars.
Several witnesses were located and interviewed. The victim and his car were located in the 4800 block of 35 SW. The victim was shot 4 times in the chest.
Utilizing good investigative techniques, patrol officers were able to locate an address for the suspect. The Anti Crime Team & Gang Detectives responded to the suspect’s address. The suspect was arrested and the gun recovered. Homicide and CSI responded and processed the scene. As of 2:00 a.m., the 36-year-0ld male victim was still alive at an area hospital. His injuries are life threatening. The suspect, an adult male was booked into King County Jail for Investigation of Assault.
Police had gone to a Gatewood address in search of one person whose name they mentioned over the radio as a possible suspect. That name is not currently on the King County Jail Register, however.
3:32 PM UPDATE: Now it is. A 67-year-old Gatewood man is the suspect jailed in connection with last night’s shooting near Morgan Junction Park.
The status of the 35-year-old victim is not clear; a friend tells WSB his mother in Florida told them he did not survive, but authorities are so far not confirming (or denying) that, and Seattle Police spokesperson Det. Renee Witt told us, “I don’t anticipate any additional information being released today on this case.” The King County Jail Register lists the suspect as being held on suspicion of assault, not homicide, at this point.
One friend, Jamie, who says he was with the victim when he got shot and is the person who drove the victim to Providence Mount St. Vincent, thinking it was a hospital, has told us his story, by phone. (He has participated in the comment discussion, below.)
Caveat from your editor here: While there is no certain way to confirm that someone calling you by phone is who they say they are, saw what they said they saw – nor, frankly, is that sort of confirmation available if you talk to someone at a crime scene who says they are a witness – we will say that details Jamie mentioned include information that we heard police discuss by radio, but did not include in our published story. So here’s what he told us:
Jamie says the 36-year-old victim had lived with him and his family in West Seattle since arriving here from Jacksonville, Florida, four months ago. He says they had been friends for 17 years – and that he had urged his friend to move here to get away from the dangerous streets of Jacksonville. (According to data available online, its murder rate was the highest of any major Florida city until 2010, when 80 people were killed in Jacksonville, compared to 20 in slightly smaller Seattle.)
Here’s what Jamie says happened last night:
He and his friend had gone to the Feedback Lounge for drinks and each had two beers. They had not been there before, Jamie says.
They decided to leave; his pickup truck was parked near the construction equipment on California by Morgan Junction Park.
Outside, he says, they saw a man he believes was the shooter – who he says they had noticed earlier inside the bar. Jamie says his friend subsequently turned and went westward down the small street just north of the bar, instead of coming with him toward the truck, even though he called after him.
Jamie says that after he got back to the truck, his friend showed up, opened the pickup door while saying something to someone else, started to pull a shovel out of the pickup, and then, according to Jamie, that’s when the other man opened fire – and walked away.
“It was so random,” Jamie insists. His friend, according to police reports and radio traffic as it was all unfolding last night, was shot four times.
Jamie told us all he could think of was getting his friend medical attention, so he drove toward Providence Mount St. Vincent. “I didn’t know it wasn’t a hospital.”
He says he kept his friend conscious by talking to him as they drove there – and then when medics arrived, they pulled the victim out of the truck and onto the pavement, doing CPR.
Police talked to Jamie for a few hours, he says, and impounded his truck. (Which, we can say, would be standard procedure in a crime case.) When they took him home, he had to figure out how to get to Harborview, where his friend was in surgery.
He says the victim has a child back in Florida, and had just gotten a job here with a wholesaling company in SODO, looking forward to sending some money home for his child and his mom after recently receiving his first paycheck.
We will not identify the suspect until and unless he is charged; if this case proceeds along a standard path, it is likely that he will have a bail hearing tomorrow, and we will find out more during and after that hearing about what investigators believe happened. We haven’t found a criminal history in our online search so far; some court cases from a decade ago are all that have turned up.