BB gun vandals hit people, historic theater

by: Natasha Chen Updated:


SEATTLE - Within the last month, multiple police reports show the same vehicle described in incidents in which an assailant has possibly used a BB gun to shoot at people and buildings in the Columbia City neighborhood.

Seattle police said that late Thursday night, someone in a brown Honda drove past the Columbia City Theater and shot at people standing outside.

Police said that two people were hit outside the building. One of the theater's windows was hit as well and is now boarded up. 

The production manager of the theater called to say that the shot penetrated only one of the two panes of glass, but that it will be a hassle to replace.

Though the damage and injuries were not serious, this seems to have happened before.

On Sept. 17, Seattle police tweets show two different women calling to report being shot with a pellet or BB gun.

One of the women told police she was hit at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Hudson Street, blocks away from the Columbia City Theater.

At a restaurant next door to the theater, an employee told KIRO 7 that a victim ran to the restaurant to use the phone and call the police. She said the female victim had been grazed in the stomach.

Seattle police also described the suspect car in those incidents as a brown Honda.

Alex Higgins, who has lived in the neighborhood for several years, said, "It wouldn't keep me from going out at night, but it's alarming in that if they think they can do this, then what's next? Are they going to start using real guns, .22s?"

Business owners, who are generally tight-knit on Rainier Avenue, said they keep an eye out for each other and for their customers.

Tiana Garrett, who owns the Jus Bar, said, "People walk their dogs early in the morning, late at night, (there are) kids in strollers, and to have somebody that's just (committing) random act of violence, or just negligence, doesn't make any sense."

She and others along the street were appalled at the gunman's disregard for property and safety.

Garrett also noted how the stores on Rainier tend to be mom-and-pop shops.

"They don't have deep pockets, so when there are issues, especially destructive issues, that's obviously something they're going to have to handle," Garrett said.

She said that she hoped the people involved would stop before it becomes even more of a repeat problem.