West Seattle shootings followup: Investigators return to scene; friend says it was a robbery attempt

Though Seattle Police are not formally commenting on last night’s two shootings beyond what was on SPD Blotter (same things linked in our overnight coverage), here’s what we have found out today:

Investigators returned to the Avalon/Charlestown scene this afternoon – the first place a shooting victim was reported, after people in the area heard gunshots around 11:30 last night. The investigators there today were spotted and photographed both by WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams (who took the photo above) and by your co-publishers, a short time apart while heading back to our respective HQ’s after coverage of the “Bertha” arrival. As you see in Nick’s photo, investigators were using a dog to look for evidence. It’s the same area of Charlestown as shown in WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli‘s photo from overnight:

Meantime, a friend of one of the two men who were shot tells WSB that it all started as a robbery attempt and that his friend shot the other man in self-defense. The friend asked to be anonymous, and since we don’t have official identification on either of the men who were shot, we are not using our source’s friend’s name yet either.

According to the friend, the victim was working last night, driving a car for hire – he’s also a musician – and was taking a break when the other man approached him, and the exchange of gunfire ensued. No other details of the circumstances; the friend has visited the victim in the hospital and says he is able to nod his head in response to questions but that’s about it. He says the victim is in stable condition with three gunshot wounds and is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. (The other man also is reported to still be in the hospital.) We will continue to follow up with police to see when they will be ready to say more about the case.

37 Replies to "West Seattle shootings followup: Investigators return to scene; friend says it was a robbery attempt"

  • Eaglelover April 2, 2013 (8:05 pm)

    Scary that was a robbery, could have happened to anyone if this is the case. We have to figure out a way to stop these thugs.

  • C. April 2, 2013 (9:04 pm)

    I think there is more to the story. And does the person that was robbed have a concealed weapon permit? Why the hell did he have a gun? This is crazy.

  • rjb April 2, 2013 (9:45 pm)

    Yes he has a concealed carry permit, he has a gun because we live in America where you have the right to carry a firearm for self protection. He was working late night as a driver for hire and got robbed, the mugger shot first and he defended himself. Some people choose to be prepared for situations that nobody wants to deal with. Who are you to question why he has a gun?

  • J. April 2, 2013 (9:57 pm)

    C. I’m all behind you. We shouldn’t have to face the legally armed citizens while trying to rob them. It makes our job so much more difficult :)

    Seriously; are you really that surprised that person working at night, driving strangers to unknown places wouldn’t have a gun near by? Never heard of cab drivers being attacked in this town?

  • M April 2, 2013 (10:05 pm)

    Why is there “more to the story”? I know a lot of the guys he works with. They all pull over for breaks between fares. Being a driver for hire is a dangerous occupation. I’d carry a gun too. If he didn’t have it, in this case, he’d likely not be of this world any longer. Glad he had the opportunity to defend himself.

  • Boone April 2, 2013 (10:12 pm)

    Completely off topic, but that is the cutest police dog I have ever seen!

  • helridge April 2, 2013 (10:19 pm)

    Eaglelover you just have to watch your back, always, especially in this hood.

  • westseattledood April 2, 2013 (10:22 pm)

    Well, *not* gang related, then? Good. I guess.

    Though the whole shooting is still horrible.

  • Morgan Resident April 2, 2013 (10:23 pm)

    This is not the hood. I lived in the hood. This is not even close. The valley is not even close to the hood. Thats middle class everywhere but here.

  • snowball April 2, 2013 (10:24 pm)

    Really “C”? You read this story and your reaction is to question why the VICTIM had a gun and whether he was carrying it legally?? I am about 99% positive that the robber didn’t have a concealed carry permit and probably didn’t even legally own the gun – but you don’t seem to be concerned about that at all.

  • Tracey April 2, 2013 (10:41 pm)

    It’s very scary to think that it could affect anyone. I think that some of these reports become confusing when they mention that gang units are on the scene. But, I guess maybe that is standard procedure, since we do in fact have a gang problem (not just in WS, throughout Seattle). I feel horrible for the family and friends who have had to read the speculation about their friend/family member. I really hope he recovers and that if the guy found in the other vehicle was the perp that he gets prosecuted. I was actually driving home on the bridge as the ambulance was headed to this scene last night, though I had no idea what was going on at the time. Just so scary.

    • WSB April 2, 2013 (10:44 pm)

      Just to be clear, *we did not report anything about gang units at the scene* – the word “gang” appears NOWHERE in our story. However, you also are correct in noting that gang units have been present at scenes that weren’t necessarily gang-related – helping with investigations.

  • Z April 2, 2013 (11:06 pm)

    If only we could live in a city with no guns and no violence. Maybe somewhere there is a utopia where the citizens all work together and the police are the only ones who have these tools to protect us. If I could make such a place I would call it Chicago.

    C,its sad you insinuate anyone with a gun is a criminal. A place where the citizens are afraid to go to jail for exercising their inherent right to defend themselves is not free.

  • westseattledood April 2, 2013 (11:09 pm)

    We know TR – it was speculation in a comment.

  • Seattlite April 2, 2013 (11:44 pm)

    rjb — You are so correct in letting C know what the law is on legal gun ownership/permit. The thug that attempted the robbery deserved what he got for being a violent offender. I hope the victim pulls through.

  • B April 2, 2013 (11:56 pm)

    It was the 27 y/o who was robbed, the older of the two. He had a permit for his weapon.

    • WSB April 2, 2013 (11:59 pm)

      Thanks, B, I’ve been trying to find an age for him, and even having his real name (as opposed to his stage name) I couldn’t find one in any of the many places I looked – so the only information I’d had previously indicated he was the younger victim.

  • B April 3, 2013 (12:05 am)

    I think it’s best he remains anonymous until the police finish their investigation. He’s going to be okay but he has a lot of recovering to do.

    • WSB April 3, 2013 (12:33 am)

      Yes, and that’s why we have chosen not to publish his name thus far – we generally don’t identify victims unless it comes from authorities or the family.

  • westseattledood April 3, 2013 (12:07 am)

    My neighbor from Germany tells me only the police and criminals have guns there. And that It works there without issue or controversy. Makes me ponder…in situations like this.

  • breezygirl April 3, 2013 (4:21 am)

    My father was a cabbie for 15 years. He carried a gun at all times (yes he had a permit) and guess what? 99% of all other drivers do as well. It is a dangerous job.

  • Realist April 3, 2013 (5:16 am)

    Oh yeah, Germany is a great example of what can happen when you disarm the citizens.

  • CE April 3, 2013 (7:38 am)

    @westseattledood, just trying to understand your comment. Are you saying this would have turned out better had the cab driver not been armed and able to protect himself?

  • E April 3, 2013 (8:16 am)

    The 19 y/o that was shot in the second scene was the robber from the first scene. I know this for a fact.

  • Sonic April 3, 2013 (9:08 am)

    Right on Realist!!!

  • Anonymous April 3, 2013 (9:12 am)

    E if you know it for a fact, tell the detectives.

  • E April 3, 2013 (9:49 am)

    They know. The 19 y/o is under guard at Harborview.

  • RarelyEver April 3, 2013 (1:10 pm)

    Being from Germany I agree with westseattledood’s neighbor; the statistics for gun-related deaths for Germany for 2010 are as follows:

    Total gun deaths: 903
    Rate (per 100,000 citizens): 1.10

    For the US they are:

    Total gun deaths: 31,672
    Rate (per 100,000 citizens): 10.2

    Private citizens don’t carry guns there. There are significantly less gun-related deaths than here. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

  • E April 3, 2013 (2:15 pm)

    RarelyEver, just keep in mind that around 61% of the total gun deaths in the U.S. are suicides. The suicide rate in the U.S. and Germany are pretty close, which means that a much larger number than 903 people killed themselves in Germany by other means. Not to dispute that the gun death rate is higher in the U.S. than in Germany, but I think it is more meaningful to talk about ‘homicide by firearm rate’ instead.

  • RarelyEver April 3, 2013 (6:56 pm)

    Hi E –

    Actually, the numbers I pulled include any and all deaths by firearm (homicide, suicide, accidental discharge, etc) both for Germany and the US. I made sure not to compare apples and oranges… :)

  • E April 3, 2013 (8:30 pm)

    RarelyEver – Yep, I’m aware of that. I was just implying that it’s most important to look at homicide by firearm rate because this is what people are mainly concerned about when discussing gun control. Suicide is a choice and tragically, accidents happen, but homicide is a concern no matter how you slice it. Can you post the two countries homicide by firearm rates? And the point I was making about Germany is that somewhere in the realm of 8000-9000 people killed themselves each year in that country, so obviously, with only 903 gun deaths, the vast majority of suicides in Germany are non-gun related. An interesting stat would be: (non-suicide gun deaths + all suicides / 100,000).

  • Tracey April 3, 2013 (10:41 pm)

    I never said that “gang units” or a gang reference was mentioned in any specific WSB articles. So, I have no idea why my comment was taken as some kind of criticism of WSB. I was referring to the media in general when it comes to these recent incidents and also relaying my own experience that night of being on the road while the EMS was headed to this scene, then seeing all the speculation when I got online to see what had happened. Also, I do give you a lot of (positive) credit for adding to the story about how the first victim was an innocent victim, which I have not seen any other media outlets do yet.

    • WSB April 3, 2013 (10:51 pm)

      Unless police release some additional information, you’re not likely to see others do followups. I asked repeatedly again today, and still nothing; will keep trying … I am as dogged as can be about following up. I hope the victim’s surgery this afternoon went OK. – TR

  • J April 4, 2013 (10:16 am)

    People discuss the gun crimes and gun deaths here in the US, but I wonder if people around the world who are victims of violent crimes around the world consider themselves lucky to only be robbed/raped/murdered with a knife, hammer, or machete. Maybe we should compare the violent crime rates of countries rather than only gun related crime rates. Our violent crime rate is lower or similar to many countries that have fewer gun related crimes, such as Britain. I understand the use of statistics to build a fear fueled confirmation bias in regards to this alleged gun violence, but I would encourage people to investigate the facts rather than rely on statistics that exclude relevant information.

  • Greg April 4, 2013 (2:35 pm)

    Would really like to know how the surgery went yesterday.

    • WSB April 4, 2013 (2:49 pm)

      Hi – please see the new story atop our site. Also, a friend called and said the surgery went well. – TR

  • Greg April 4, 2013 (3:50 pm)

    Thanks TR.

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