TACOMA, Wash. — Tacoma residents are on edge as that city records two more homicides overnight for a total of 21 murders so far this year.
Those two deadly shootings happened just three and a half hours and some three miles apart.
A 56-year-old man was killed on South Tacoma Way just before 3 a.m. Sunday, and a 24-year-old man was shot and killed on East D Street Saturday night in what sounded like a shoot-out.
Residents are feeling the impact of the violence.
“It’s happening, you know, Friday through Sunday,” said neighbor Alex Miller. “It’s just wild.”
Miller’s words were borne out at 11:16 p.m. Saturday when the peace of his East Tacoma neighborhood was disturbed by an exchange of gunfire between two vehicles that had pulled onto East D Street.
Miller described what he saw on a neighbor’s surveillance video.
“The truck turns its lights off and it slows down right in front of my house,” said Miller. “And then this other car turns the corner and stops when he sees them. And the shooting breaks out.”
The victim’s car backed up and took off.
“And I ducked behind the pillar on my porch,” said a neighbor, who heard it too.
He stood in his front yard, not wanting to be identified.
“And then I saw a white truck with its headlights off go speeding by south on D street here,” he said. “After that, I went inside.”
Tacoma police believe a mortally wounded 24-year-old was driven to the Tacoma General Hospital.
It was only then that officers determined he had been shot and killed on East D Street.
“I mentioned it to one of my neighbors,” the neighbor said. “And she said the guy who died was a relative of hers.”
Tacoma police detectives obtained video footage that identified the suspect vehicle.
On Sunday at 2:49 p.m., while detectives were looking for more evidence, they saw the vehicle used during the homicide with a driver inside. Officers tried to pull the driver over in the 3400 block of East McKinley Avenue, but the man refused to stop and and a pursuit began.
The chase ended at River Road and Meridian Avenue when the man’s car broke down. The driver and sole occupant of the car, a 27-year-old man, was taken into custody and his car was impounded for a search warrant.
The driver was booked into jail for eluding police officers and two unrelated warrants.
Three and a half hours after the first shooting, Tacoma police found a 56-year-old man lying dead on South Tacoma Way, the result of an altercation.
It brings the number of homicides in Pierce County so far this year to 41, with 21 of them in Tacoma alone.
It has left residents all over the city anxious.
“You hear 18, 19 gunshots,” said Alex Miller. “And then two minutes later you hear ambulances and police and all this. You’re like, ‘It already happened once tonight.’”
No one has been arrested in the South Tacoma Way shooting.
Anyone who knows anything about either of the shootings is asked to call the Tacoma police.
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