The shooting from last Friday at 24th & Union got pushed down in the news after the much more serious Chop Suey shooting the next night. But the good news in the first one vs. the other recent incidents is that no one was killed and the perpetrators were apprehended just minutes after committing the crime.
Yesterday King County prosecutors charged two men in that January 2nd shooting in the Key Bank parking lot. The first, 19 year old Dion Lamont Montgomery, who celebrated his 19th birthday on Monday in his jail cell, faces charges of Drive By Shooting, Attempting to Elude a Pursuing Police Vehicle, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the 1st Degree. He’s still held in the King County Jail on a $100,000 bail with an arraignment scheduled for 1/21.
The second, 18 year old Jason W Pate of Tacoma, faces a single charge of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the 1st Degree. He was released with a $5,000 bail amount this past Sunday.
According to charging documents, Pate drove up from Tacoma on Friday night in his father’s gold Lexus, aiming to buy some weed. He eventually hooked up with Montgomery (aka “Chip”), who worked his marijuana connections and talked Pate into riding in the backseat of the Lexus while Montgomery drove around.
Pate told police that Montgomery drove the car up near the Key Bank parking lot at 24th & Union, saw someone he recognized, and rolled down the window and yelled “Hey” at the victim. The victim ignored the greeting, and Montgomery responded by pulling out a handgun and opening fire, striking the victim in the leg.
A nearby officer heard the shots and was able to get a good description of the vehicle to dispatchers, allowing other nearby units to identify the car as it headed south on MLK. The pursuit ended at Rainier & Letitia when the Lexus hit an occupied vehicle and the two occupants bailed out and tried to run. Pate was caught quickly, and Montgomery got further before being caught by a K9.
A .38 caliber revolver with a single round of ammunition was found on the ground near where the two had tried to run away. That weapon was reported stolen on 11/24/2008 by a man in the 8900 block of Cecil Ave S. We found the police report on it, which indicates it was stolen from a poorly secured safe by the owner’s 16 year old son. Pate admitted to keeping this gun for protection and throwing it away during his attempted escape. It’s not clear what happened to the gun used by Montgomery in the actual shooting.
Montgomery was also found to be wearing body armor when he was apprehended. He’s got a lengthy rap sheet that includes 8 felony convictions, including Theft-1 (1/2002 and 1/2005), Robbery-2 (2/2004 and 2/2005), Burglary-2 (2/2004), Theft of a Motor Vehicle (2004), and Assault-3 (3/2006).
So the unanswered question is what happened here. Is it a drug buy gone bad, or something else? Based on the limited conversation at 24th & Union, my suspicion is that Montgomery had tried to find some weed for Pate and couldn’t, and instead decided to take advantage of the availability of the Lexus to head north and strike a blow in the ongoing battle between South-end and Central District gangs. Luckily he wasn’t a great shot and didn’t kill anybody, and is now off the streets. Let’s hope he’s convicted, gets a long sentence, and stays behind bars.