Alki shooting followup: A few new details

We just checked with the Seattle Police media unit, which is handling all information on Friday night’s Alki shooting (WSB coverage, plus extensive comment thread, here). A few new details, according to Sgt. Sean Whitcomb: For starters, the victim is 19 years old and is in “stable” condition. No further details on suspect descriptions or what exactly happened and why, but Sgt. Whitcomb did say: “We don’t believe this is a ‘stranger’ crime” and added that the Seattle Police Gang Unit is “lead” on the investigation (as reported Friday night, both the Gang and Homicide Units are involved). Watch for more followup information later.

34 Replies to "Alki shooting followup: A few new details"

  • rykrite May 4, 2009 (8:58 am)

    I’m slightly relieved it’s not a stranger crime. If this is a gang related crime, which it appears to be, maybe young readers will walk away with “Join a gang and get shot!” as the take-away message, and that will help MY cause of wanting to reduce violence in our community. There has to be a better way.

  • Cami May 4, 2009 (9:02 am)

    Tracy, great coverage… thanks!

  • KT May 4, 2009 (9:09 am)

    I find it remarkable that the PI & the Times have run one story of approx 4 sentences on this shooting. The PD is being incredibly close lipped on this one. Anyone ever see smaller coverage of a similar shooting before? Conscious effort not to publicize gang activity at one of Seattle’s most popular summer destinations?

  • datamuse May 4, 2009 (9:23 am)

    Actually, that volume of coverage seems fairly standard so far for a case where a) they don’t know who did it, b) the victim is still alive, and c) the investigation is in its early stages.

  • trensuela May 4, 2009 (10:15 am)

    What is really awesome is that if that if this is indeed gang related the victim will most likely not give up the name of the perp.

  • WSB May 4, 2009 (10:32 am)

    What datamuse said is what’s truly the case. Frankly, if somebody doesn’t die, it’s not really citywide news after the first wave of stories.
    And remember, I spent a longtime in citywide media. That’s what neighborhood news is for and why it’s ascendant, like it or not.
    Also remember, we had a shooting DEATH here a year-plus ago (59th/Admiral, October 2007) that was not covered anywhere – not even anywhere else in WS! – after the initial arrest, though it led to a rather amazing trial that ended in exoneration (we staffed it gavel to gavel) – I was CERTAIN at least a newspaper reporter would have parachuted into the verdict on that one. Nope. P.S. re: closed-lipped, not any more than other cases we’ve covered, here and in conventional media – TR

  • Aa May 4, 2009 (10:45 am)

    My daughters witnessed this — we live across the street from Pepperdocks — and spoke with some of the individuals from the group that did the shooting as they ran and drove down our street. It is important that they be able to follow the story as it affected them directly and personally. We are grateful to have the WSB as a reliable source of information.

  • JanS May 4, 2009 (11:42 am)

    Also, we have to make sure that this, as some people feel, was a “random” event. It wasn’t…it seems now that the individual was targeted. This shooting does not in anyway make Alki any less safe to go have fun at, to stay away from. We, as a community, need to remember that. The shooter did not go out that evening with an idea to just shoot anyone who came along…please remember that.

    Thanks for the update, TR.

  • JanS May 4, 2009 (11:43 am)

    oops…I meant to say…we have to remember that this WASN’T a random event. Need more caffeine, I guess :)

  • Stan May 4, 2009 (12:31 pm)

    Jan, It actually does make Alki less safe. Although it wasn’t random, a random person could have been involved… this IS a very busy area. Any crime tells us that Alki is not as safe as we may think. It’s getting worse, too. I see much more “action” down at Alki and it’s far more dangerous than it was 5-10 or more years ago. It also extends past Alki to Whale Tail park and Schmitz Park now. We weren’t seeing them in Schmitz Park much a few years ago. Now the activity there is rampant. Drugs, kegs in the park, it’s bad. I’ve lived in the area for 20 years and it’s getting a but more dangerous–from all that I’ve seen and witnessed.

  • carencaren May 4, 2009 (1:01 pm)

    Aa – “spoke with some of the individuals from the group that did the shooting as they ran and drove down our street”

  • Ex-Westwood Resident May 4, 2009 (1:02 pm)

    I can tell you this…
    It will be a LONG time before I go back to Alki (unarmed) and let my kids go there without me in their company AND armed.
    The Police presence and greater prosecution of animals such as these, are going to be the deciding factor.
    I’m SICK AND TIRED of these gang-bangers, drug dealers, thugs thinking that they can come in and take over. One of the main reasons I stay away from downtown and Pioneer Square.
    The Mayor and the City Council (hell just throw in King County and Olympia also) care more for the rights of the criminals than they do the rights of the victims.

  • Eric May 4, 2009 (1:03 pm)

    Have any of you taken a walk or a drive in and around West Seattle lately and notice the gang tagging and people wearing colors?

  • Ex-Westwood Resident May 4, 2009 (1:13 pm)

    (I posted this in the original thread, but it will get buried soon, so I thought I would post it here also).
    You know something?
    Not to sound callus, but I could really care less how the shooting victim is doing.
    We know he won’t give up the shooter. They ALL hang on to a demented code of silence. Just look at the death of the “Tuba Man” and those that killed him.
    The way I look at it is that if he dies, well then there is one less gang-banger out there to shoot the streets up and put innocent men, women and children at risk.
    Do I feel sorry for his parent/s? No, not really. If they had been paying attention to their child there is a damn good chance he wouldn’t have gone the way he did.
    Same goes for the shooter and anyone covering up for this.

  • homesweethome May 4, 2009 (1:44 pm)

    Perhaps we could just cordon off an area of the city where all these “friends” can just do what they do – shoot each other, and stop creating havoc around the rest of the city

    And yes, Admiral is covered in tags, not something I saw 5-10 or even 15 years ago

    No crime is random – crime in and of itself is a word that contains intent – while this group (and so many like them) may’ve targeted this particular victim, plenty of innocents could’ve been involved

  • KT May 4, 2009 (2:43 pm)

    “This shooting does not in anyway make Alki any less safe to go have fun at, to stay away from.” This could have come from the press office of the Mayor. No, this shooting doesn’t make Alki less safe. But what it does point out is that there are elements on Alki that pose potential dangers to the community. This shooting was at 7:30pm on a Friday night. Where does a wandering bullet end up? My wife runs on Alki at approx. that time of evening. Seattle PD has got to wake up and provide a meaningful police presence when the weather is good and not just wait for holiday weekends to put resources on the beach. Every year it is the same thing…no police to be found until there is trouble and then SPD reacts. How about being proactive?

  • WSB May 4, 2009 (2:47 pm)

    Just fyi I am writing a long story resulting from an hour with the SW Precinct commander this morning (I asked over the weekend if I could speak with him as early this week as possible), focused on Alki safety/police presence. If the rest of the news will just calm down it should be up no later than 4 – TR

  • stephany May 4, 2009 (3:21 pm)

    has anyone heard if there are any plans for beefing up the police presence at the beach this summer? Will that mobile unit be back?

    Hate the thought of having to wear a bullet proof vest just to take my kids out for ice cream cones on a sunny evening in Alki.

  • Been here a long time May 4, 2009 (3:22 pm)

    If any of you are now THAT afraid of Alki then yes stay away from it. Stay far far away from it.
    For the person who feels they must bring another gun to a park that is attached to Alki elementary… Well, if you don’t feel safe here… Please do not come here.
    But for me…. Since I’ve lived here for so so long, I think I will continue to enjoy MY neighborhood. As far as sitting on my ass expecting the police to fix it all… Well, I still say, if we want Alki to become a small quiet family community, then we have to make it that way.
    The gangs tag! Research and gang units have said, the more you remove the tagging and the more the community watches the streets and uses the streets and is pro-active, then gang activity begins to fade.
    Re-zone, enforce curfew, maybe make petition for one or two less bars and less condos.
    Now many of you live here and write about how it’s all so frightening and dangerous..ect. But when we had a work party to scrub off and paint over tagging, I only remember seeing 10 of us there.

  • Been here a long time May 4, 2009 (3:32 pm)

    One more note form a ragging grannie,
    about 10 years ago, the police were here… all the time. Bike Patrol with the Panda’s on the larger corners.
    They gave out tickets for cruising and loitering in front of shops, littering…. and the 30 somethings who lived here said, “oh the mean police are always here and always giving out tickets. Mean police… They don’t need to be here so much.”
    If you want them back… let them do their job. If you want the police presence here, then you too are not above the law just because you live here. I’ve heard opposition to zoned parking, but then residents here freak out when they can’t get a place to park. You don’t get it both ways.

  • WSB May 4, 2009 (3:32 pm)

    As I mentioned two comments above, I am working on a story about police presence planning. Short answer though, the mobile unit will NOT be back as it is no longer in service. Very old and fell apart. But the captain explains in our almost-done story that he doesn’t feel that’s necessarily the best way to deploy officers anyway – TR

  • csw2119 May 4, 2009 (4:18 pm)

    Can some one tell me what “colors” gangs are wearing? And some info on “tags”. Thank you.

  • Jo May 4, 2009 (6:54 pm)

    Ex-Westwood Resident wrote: “It will be a LONG time before I go back to Alki (unarmed) and let my kids go there without me in their company AND armed.”
    Yeah, that’s the answer. Add more guns to the mix.

  • been here a long time May 4, 2009 (7:13 pm)

    I too am amazed by Ex-Westwood Resident.
    This person has a gun, is looking for an argument and want’s to be in the park near the school, or on the beach near my small house.
    This person is also NOT part of a gang, but no less disturbing.
    Yes it is a free country, but I can only hope this person stays far far away.
    This type of vigilance is NOT helpful.
    May the Unafraid forever enjoy Alki.

  • alki_2008 May 4, 2009 (7:48 pm)

    Someone carrying a concealed weapon, with a license, doesn’t necessarily mean that that gun will be used. Geez…it’s not the GUN that’s the problem, it’s the PERSON carrying it!
    If you were in a restaurant and someone illegally opened fire with a gun, then I’d certainly want someone lawfully carrying to be able to shoot the perpetrator.

  • alki_2008 May 4, 2009 (7:50 pm)

    And about the bars and condos…many of the troublemakers don’t hang out in bars, as they’re too young for alcohol. Condos just keep out more people, so is that really what we have to do? We don’t need to keep out law-abiding people, just the troublemakers that have no respect for the laws or their community.
    Ex-Westwood resident – I’m with you!

  • JH May 4, 2009 (8:09 pm)

    Wow Aa, what did the group who did the shooting tell you as they ran by?

  • Leroy May 4, 2009 (8:43 pm)

    I am more afraid of Ex-Westwood resident than I am of any kid with a gun at this point. And Alki_2008 – get off your high horse.

  • alki_2008 May 4, 2009 (10:09 pm)

    @Leroy, what “high horse”?
    And why should any of us be afraid of Ex-Westwood Resident? He’s not going to go around shooting people just because they look at him the wrong way. Are you serious?

  • Ex-Westwood resident May 4, 2009 (11:27 pm)

    Jo, been, Leroy,

    You want to know what the differences between me and the shooter friday night or a gang banger carrying a gun is?
    Here are a few:
    1. I am licensed
    2. I have been trained
    3. I KNOW when and how to employ deadly force
    4. I am an EXPERT pistol shot (have the medal to prove it)
    5. I WILL not “spray” bullets around.
    6. I KNOW what a gun can do and how to use one
    7. I know where, when to and when NOT to use a gun
    You guys have NOTHING to fear from me carrying a gun, unless you pull one on me.
    Jo – I AGREE with you. More guns are NOT the answer, but until this mayor, county exec, gov and pres start cracking down on ILLEGAL gun owners you will have more and more of these type of shootings. They have NO FEAR because they KNOW that the laws WONT be passed or upheld.
    been – Let me know when the next time you are planning a “Tagging Removal” party, I’d be MORE than happy to help remove that crap from Alki.
    Leroy – Pull your head out of the sand. LEGAL gun owners; you have NOTHING to fear from us peforming drive-bys, or shooting someone because of the color of their shirt or the color of their skin.
    It’s too bad stats aren’t kept (at least that I could find) on shootings committed by ILLEGAL gun owners vs. LEGAL gun owners.
    Remember one thing – A GUN HAS NEVER KILLED A PERSON.

  • Gary May 5, 2009 (1:59 pm)

    Well said.

  • katemca May 5, 2009 (3:56 pm)

    Very well put.

  • BORN&RAISED WEST SEATTLEITE May 5, 2009 (8:47 pm)

    Just like the Stevie Bushaw shooting in the Junction and much more to come…The Gang Unit needs more $$$$!!!!

  • Aa May 6, 2009 (7:42 am)

    JH and carencaren — my daughters made their statements to the police. Methinks it is more appropriate that the information be logged in the SPD report than dissected in a blog. I was not home at the time, and apparently did not make that clear in my initial entry.
    My intent was to thank WSB for being a solid source of current information about our community. As my daughters continue to process this, it is important that they understand they are part of a community of good people in the Alki area who are continuing to take action towards keeping the beach safe for all.

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