Here’s what we know about the gun incident that brought a number of automatic-weapon-bearing officers to 23rd between Marion & E. Columbia just after noon today. The initial report we heard on the radio was that a man with a gun was kicking in a door just north of 23rd & Cherry. I grabbed the camera and ran down to the scene, where I spoke to a witness that generated that call.
The witness said that she had just gotten off the bus and was walking south on 23rd when she saw a car pull up to a house in the 800 block of 23rd. A guy jumped out of the car and pulled a handgun out of his waistband and then ran inside the open front door of the house. As she was watching this, another person in the car told her to mind her own business, and that the man with the gun was there to retrieve some stolen property. The witness then reported hearing several muffled pops, which she thought were gunshots coming from inside the house. Another pedestrian used her cell phone to make the 911 call.
Later the radio reported a separate call to 911 from a member of the family that lives in the house, saying that his nephew was the shooter. Confusingly, he wasn’t at the house, but was calling from a work-release program somewhere else. Two other conflicting reports said that the suspect shot at the house and then took off northbound on foot, while another said he shot at the house and then left in a car.
A 4-door sedan was pulling out of the driveway of the targeted house as police arrived. An officer armed with a semi-automatic rifle stopped the vehicle at the corner of 23rd & Columbia, where the passenger was taken out, put in handcuffs, and searched. He was questioned by police for about 20-30 minutes before being released and then driving away with the other people that were in the car with him. Other observers at the scene said that he was related to the family that lives in the targeted house, but it’s not clear if he is the nephew that was described in the 911 call.
I spoke to an officer at the scene who said that she couldn’t substantiate any of the claims of guns or shots fired, and could only classify this as “a disturbance.” No one was taken into custody.
The house that was the focus of this incident has had a long series of issues. They’ve been cited repeatedly by the health department for the piles of junk and garbage that are periodically piled around the property. Additionally, several residents of the house and relatives of the homeowners have long criminal records. On June 9th of this year, six members of the family were arrested for on a variety of charges, including domestic violence and drug offenses. That comes after a March 14th roundup where an even larger group of family members were booked into the King County Jail on similar charges. We can also confirm that one son of the homeowner and periodic resident at that address was recently released from the Coyote Ridge penitentiary and is now assigned to the Northwest Region Work Release program.