RAINIER BEACH – Shortly after 6 p.m. last Friday, gunshots rang out on 52nd Avenue South between Rainier Beach Safeway and McDonalds.
Witness accounts vary, but between three and seven shots were reportedly fired.
One of the bullets struck a man in the chest. He was transported to Harborview Medical Center. His condition is unknown.
Another bullet crossed Rainier Avenue South, passed under the fender of an occupied vehicle, ricocheted off the frame and flattened the tire.
Rainier Avenue South was closed briefly in both directions while police looked for other bullets that may have impacted the roadway. The roadway was quickly re-opened.
According to Seattle Police, “witnesses reported seeing a group of men arguing near the southeast corner of a parking lot, before one of the men opened fire.”
Officers from all over South Seattle and other parts of the City descended on the scene to secure the scene so medics could treat the victim, witness interviews could provide a possible suspect description and a search could begin. They were also heard on police radio securing surveillance video from Safeway, McDonalds, and other businesses that might allow them to identify the shooter.
Eric, who asked that the RVP not use his last name, lives in the Pritchard Beach Neighborhood, near the crime scene. He was outside working at the time of the shooting and saw the police cars going by and the news helicopters headed south past his home.
Asked for his reaction to what he had seen he said, “I called my wife who was picking someone up at the Rainier Beach Light Rail Station and told her that there had probably been another shooting near Safeway. I told her not to come back down Henderson but to take the back way. I guess I didn’t have much of a reaction, this is pretty routine.”
The Mayor indicated that heightened police patrols will take place in the area throughout the weekend to try and deter further gun violence. While photographing the area for this story, the morning after the shooting, two police cars were seen in the area within 20 minutes.
Photo/The scene of he shooting the following day. Neale Frothingham