1 killed, 3 injured in shooting at suspected illegal club

TACOMA, Wash. — One person is dead and three others injured in a shooting at a suspected illegal after-hours club being run out of an apartment in Tacoma, police said.

Officers responded around 2 a.m. Saturday to reports of a shooting at a business in the 3600 block of E. McKinley Avenue.

When police arrived, they found three adults with injuries. Medics started life-saving measures on one, but the man was declared dead at the scene.

A 28-year-old man with serious injuries and a 32-year-old woman with non-life-threatening injuries were taken by ambulance to the hospital.

A fourth victim, a 34-year-old man, was also dropped off at the hospital in a private car. He had non-life-threatening injuries.

A KIRO 7 News crew captured video of the scene, which showed aluminum foil over the windows of an upstairs apartment unit where the illegal club was thought to be operating out of. There was nightclub lighting inside the apartment.

Neighbors said they often heard loud music and partying at the apartment but never could have imagined it would be the site of a fatal shooting.

“If I heard gunshots last night, I probably got freaked out, especially with my kids up this hour. I hope a bullet doesn’t fly this way,” said Vuth Chhoth, who lives nearby.

However, police said bullets flew all around the unit. Police confirmed that they had been to the building many times recently.

“Officers responded to complaints of large crowds, numerous cars, loud noise - that type of activity,” said Tacoma Police Department spokesperson Wendy Haddow.

Just a month ago, police said they shut down a business in one of the other units because of rowdy parties.

Officers believe the organizers of that club simply moved their partying to a private residence next door.

The shooting comes as violent crimes are surging in Tacoma.

So far this year, police said there have been four murders within the city limits and that is on top of a record 31 murders last year.

“Find out what happened last night, I don’t think I can trust (having) my kid go out there and dance no more, because my kid loves dancing,” said Chhoth.

“This problem won’t be solved on a police level. It will take cooperation from many diverse departments and the community itself to help,” Haddow said.

While small gatherings are now allowed once again during the pandemic, authorities said it is illegal to have nightclubs inside a residence.

As for the shooter, police are still searching for a suspect and are working to determine what led to the shooting.