Weekend shootings in South Sound leave neighbors terrified

TACOMA, Wash. — Several South Sound neighborhoods are on edge after four drive-by shootings in just two hours, including one where at least 40 bullets were fired.

The first shooting Saturday night injured a 29-year-old woman.

By 11 o’clock, three more homes had been shot up, all of them with families inside. Tacoma police say three of those shootings may be related.

In fact, the last one took place right here on South Thompson Street.

These shootings are upending lives.

“We heard pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop,” said Kevin Muster. “There was probably 15, 20 rounds going, two different guns.”

That is how Muster describes someone firing onto his house while he and his family were inside, shooting up just about everything in his yard including his vehicles.

“This is the air conditioning unit, and put a couple of holes through that,” he said, pointing out where the bullets struck. “And one hole in my radiator. And one hole through the fender. And one hole through the door right here.”

Still, he doesn’t think his family was a target.

“They weren’t trying to kill nobody,” insisted Muster. “No. They hit the ground out in front of the house. They hit along the bottom of the house and the door. I would just say they were kids with way too much energy and the wrong toys.”

Tacoma police say the trio of drive-by shootings began Saturday night just before 10 o’clock in the 2200 block of East 65th Street. A man says someone fired 40 rounds into his house; he and his children were inside. 

About 25 minutes later, shots were fired into a house in the 4400 block of East R Street where a family was inside then, too.

The spree ended where Muster lives on South Thompson Street.

Three drive-by shootings in three different Tacoma neighborhoods in about an hour.

His neighbor is still too frightened to even show her face.

“I was trying to hold my body if I, like if I got shot, too,” she said, “because it was so close to my place.”

The shootings have hit Muster’s wife especially hard.

“They’re not thinking about people’s property they’re damaging,” she said, her voice breaking. “They’re not thinking about the lives that could be taken. They’re not thinking about any of that. And all of this, for what?”

Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards released a statement that read in part: “I am troubled and frustrated by violent incidents in Tacoma. Though ... the data is showing some positive progress in lowering violent crime, if our residents do not feel safe then we have not met our community’s needs.”

She is inviting the community to tune in on Nov. 1 when the police chief will provide what she says is a “comprehensive update” on the city’s Violent Crime Reduction Plan.

It may not persuade Muster and his wife. The couple say they are moving.