Me-Kwa-Mooks followup: Victim’s “shooting” claim wasn’t true

New information tonight about the report of a shooting at Me-Kwa-Mooks early today. Police say the victim’s claim that he was shot was false. Southwest Precinct Lt. Ron Smith has just provided the new details, while first confirming that, as we reported early today, “An officer located a victim of an assault while on routine park check. The male stated he had just been shot in the back of the head. The male was holding his head and visibly bleeding. Officers responded to the priority call and set up containment for the K9 unit. Medics were called to the scene for medical treatment.” From there, however, the story unraveled – Lt. Smith says police found the suspect but after talking with them both, “It appeared both parties may have assaulted each other. Both subjects became uncooperative during the investigation, and neither would identify the other as the person who assaulted them … Injuries treated by Fire Personnel and witness statements led officers to believe the victim may have been hit in the head with a rock or other blunt instrument, and not shot.” The original victim was treated for a “laceration to the back of his head” described as “not serious”; the “suspect/victim,” as police describe the other person, had “minor swelling to his lower lip” and “refused medical treatment.” (Note: We asked Lt. Smith if, as one commenter suggested, this was related to an Alki bar incident a short time earlier – he says it doesn’t appear to be; both parties in this case had been at the park.)

21 Replies to "Me-Kwa-Mooks followup: Victim's "shooting" claim wasn't true"

  • beachdrivegirl July 6, 2009 (7:49 am)

    Wow, although i am thankful that this was not a shooting as originally believed it sickens me that someone who would have teh nerves to lie about something like that. i hope that their is a way to prosecute the accuser so people learn that joking about fire arms is not acceptable.

  • Mike July 6, 2009 (8:35 am)

    Fine them for all the costs the police, fire and EMS cost the city to respond to this incident…not to mention the other incidents that took second stage to this “priority”.

  • JanS July 6, 2009 (9:41 am)

    Mike, I’m with you on that. It was a busy night for all concerned – it took them away from more important things. Idiots.

  • beachdrivegirl July 6, 2009 (12:03 pm)

    I also have to add that I was a bit disappointed that a cop when leaving the park (after the ‘shooting’) just took a gals word for it that she wasn’t driving drunk and let her drive away. I don’t know that she was drunk but it was 230 a.m. and she was driving around without her lights on.

    Literally a car rolls up to the stop sign with no lights on. The cop flashes his light and the chic rolls down her window. He says ma’am have you been drinking? She says no. He says are you sure you’re not drunk you are driving around without your lights on. She says, yes sir, I’m not drunk. He says: turn your lights on and she just drives away. I am not saying that everyone driving around on the 4th of July is drunk but it was 2:30 a.m. & the chic was driving around without her lights on.

    It seems like the cop could have at least gotten out of his car and walked to hers so he could at least see her eyes and smell inside the car to confirm that she wasn’t drinking.

  • Mike July 6, 2009 (12:34 pm)

    beachdrivegirl, if the have no reason to really have them get out of their car and take a sobriety test, they’ll let them go. She could have been running with parking lights on but no headlights on, from inside the vehicle you’d see dash lights and some people (although it seems odd) don’t know their headlights are not on if there are street lights around.

  • beachdrivegirl July 6, 2009 (1:17 pm)

    The cop didnt even get out of the car to talk to the girl. He just rolled down his window in the middle of the street too. I could hear and see everything from my house. Her lights (including parking lights) were not on.

  • fluorescent carl July 6, 2009 (1:52 pm)

    WSB You should have reported that this was an alleged gunshot to the back of the head… In my book falsely reporting a gunshot wound and getting WS residents all wound up is a BIG screw-up! You need to do more than listen to police scanners and spread neighborhood gossip. I cant believe everyone is giving you a pass on this… If you claim to be a credible news source then you shouldn’t report a gunshot wound and then a day later drop a little update blaming it on the person who was assaulted.

    Hack Job

  • WSB July 6, 2009 (2:08 pm)

    If you read our original story, it is attributed.
    Shooting reported at Me-Kwa-Mooks, in the headline. What I wrote is exactly what was reported that night and as per the followup quote, what police confirmed was reported when they arrived on the scene. In addition, the medic call went out “assault with weapons” – as archived here (12:59:38 am)
    Once in a while, what a victim tells investigators turns out to be wrong, whether intentional or unintentional. And without any word of shell casings, etc., having been found that night, that’s exactly why the “reported at” language stayed in. To be honest, too few news organizations include attribution – I can think of at least half a dozen kidnap claims, for example, that were covered in my citywide media career, where the victim eventually admitted making up the story, but the media outlets had never said “says s/he was kidnapped,” just declared “was kidnapped.”
    The “little update” that was “dropped” came literally minutes after I finally obtained followup information from police, whom I started trying to contact (both via the media unit and the precinct) more than 14 hours earlier, as noted at the end of the original story. Lt. Smith sent me a reply at 11:20 pm; this story was published at 11:34 pm.
    Not sure what’s “hack job” about all of that but I thank you for sharing your opinion – TR

  • pampire July 6, 2009 (2:17 pm)

    Calling 5-0 because you got beaned with a rock? Get thee out of West Seattle immediately ya big baby!

  • fluorescent carl July 6, 2009 (2:45 pm)

    It was never a gunshot wound… You reported it as a gunshot wound. Obviously you reported this without verification from the police. Because I am sure they knew it wasn’t a gunshot wound at the scene as soon as the EMT showed. You obviously didn’t report the correct story. explain it away anyway you wish, the bottom line is that you were completely wrong and wont show any accountability for this. This is my biggest problem with BLOG’s calling themselves news sources. You could have confirmed your story that night but you didn’t, if you couldn’t get access to the police in regards to this then you had no business reporting a gunshot wound in the first place.

  • fluorescent carl July 6, 2009 (2:50 pm)

    22 and a half hours elapsed from your original story till the truth

  • WSB July 6, 2009 (2:56 pm)

    Carl, I know I won’t change your mind. However, I will add one more reply. This isn’t a “blog calling itself a news source.” This is a service run by two people with 35 years in journalism. And from having worked in various other news businesses, I will tell you that if this had happened during the 10 or 11 pm news, the report would have been the same – a police officer reported a shooting at a West Seattle park – and as happened here, an update would have come later. We have as much access to police as any other media source – we are SPD-credentialed reporters, no more and no less than anyone else in town – and the only thing that I wish had been different here is that I wish I had received information from police sooner. It has never taken 14 hours, or even half that. Unlike some “conventional” news sources which took the 4th of July off, we didn’t, and I did my very best to get followup information.
    There’s nothing to be gained by not admitting an error, and I have always been the type of person to fall on my sword if and when I screw up. This was not a screwup. But if you believe it was and you choose to stop using WSB because you believe we are not credible, I’m sorry to hear that, and I appreciate the time you have spent here – TR

  • fluorescent carl July 6, 2009 (3:34 pm)

    Grain O salt

  • Mike July 6, 2009 (4:08 pm)

    Obviously Carl was there and had the full story first hand and saw the event which proved it was not a gun shot. They just failed to tell SPD, SFD and EMS before they sent a K-9 unit out to search for the shooter.

  • Cleveland Ken July 6, 2009 (6:31 pm)

    I was there. I shot him with my rock gun then got in my car and forgot to turn on my lights in my haste to get away. Darn coppers are soooo nosy. I’m glad they didn’t look in my trunk and find my rock gun that also shoots grains of salt.

  • Cleveland Ken July 6, 2009 (6:36 pm)

    BTW Beachdrivegirl were you drunk the last time you drove without your lights on? If you weren’t would you like the police to harass you and think you were? There are far too many idiots that drive without their lights on that aren’t drunk than are. That is my usual time coming home from the bar and I would like the police to leave me alone too.

  • James July 6, 2009 (10:08 pm)

    WSB you are the best.

    WSB coverage of stories that I have had intimate knowledge of have been consistently far and away more timely, accurate, balanced, and thorough than any other source. Most do not realized how often basic material facts of a story are reported incorectly in the better papers and TV news. WSB continues to earn my trust. Keep up the GREAT work.

  • fluorescent carl July 7, 2009 (1:31 am)

    Rock vs. Bullet that seems like a basic material fact?

  • Eaglewatch July 8, 2009 (9:29 pm)

    I think WSB is a great resource for accurate and timely information about the local community. Thanks for your efforts. They are appreciated.

  • 37Ray July 9, 2009 (2:09 pm)

    Geez Carl go start your own blog then?

  • Bazerk July 25, 2009 (12:15 am)

    Carl is really the West Seattle Herald hatin’

Sorry, comment time is over.