Man shot in South Seattle ‘rolling gun battle'

by: Natasha Chen Updated:

Seattle, WA - One man was shot during what Seattle police call a "rolling gun battle”.

People in two cars exchanged shots as they traveled side by side along Rainier Avenue South Sunday evening.

Just before 7 p.m., police said the cars were westbound on Rainier Avenue South when the people in them shot at each other just east of Seward Park Avenue.

The passenger of the car in the inner lane was hit, and the driver crashed the car into a bus stop shelter on the opposite side of the street. No one was at the bus stop at the time.

The suspect drove away northbound on Seward Park Avenue. There is no description of the suspect or car.

Seattle police said the driver of the crashed car pulled his passenger out and took off in another car. He later returned to the scene to talk to police.

Witness Rick Stratton said he was sitting on his front porch near the scene when he encountered the injured passenger limping in his direction.

“He walked up to me and he’s like, 'sir, sir, I’ve been shot at.’ And by that time, his friends had picked him up and he was out of here,” Stratton said.

Police said the victim was shot in the back. He was admitted to Harborview Medical Center and is listed in satisfactory condition.

Stratton said after the victim’s friends picked him up, “We looked down there, and found his bullet-proof vest there.”

Police took photos of a bullet-proof vest found up the hill from the scene on Seward Park Avenue. Officers could not confirm where the vest came from.

Priscilla Slaughter, who had been in her nearby apartment, said she heard three shots around the time of the incident.

“I heard 'pow, pow, pow, but I was thinking that people were still celebrating the Fourth of July, you know?” Slaughter said.

She and Stratton both said the sound of gunshots has become common.

KIRO 7 was near the same location in May when dozens of bullet holes were found in the walls of businesses and cars.

Slaughter said it gets worse when the weather is warmer.

“It’s the summertime, you know, it’s hot. People want to be out, hey, they’re flexing or what have you,” she said.

Stratton said his daughter has moved out of the area because she could no longer stand the violence.

Some neighbors told KIRO 7 they want to see surveillance cameras positioned in the intersections known to be problem spots. Others suggested more mentors for youths who seem not to want to reveal who is behind the violence.

“Rainier Beach is not a bad area. In all areas, people have things going on. I don’t know what they think they can do to clean it up, but hopefully, hey, let’s get a plan together and let’s see what we can do,” Slaughter said.