Arrest in fatal shooting in Seattle's Leschi neighborhood
Seattle police arrested early today a 19-year-old Seattle man who they believe shot and killed another young man as he sat in a car on a street in the Leschi neighborhood following an argument Wednesday night.
Seattle Times staff reporters
Seattle police early today arrested a 19-year-old Seattle man who they believe shot and killed another young man as he sat in a car on a street in the Leschi neighborhood following an argument Wednesday night.
"We have the suspect in custody, and he is being interviewed," Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson said this morning.
After an hours-long standoff at a Leschi home near the shooting scene early this morning, SWAT members made entry into the house and found it empty. Police had been searching for the known suspect ever since.
Then about 6:33 a.m., officers received a tip that the suspect was at another house in West Seattle near Delridge Way Southwest and Southwest Andover Street.
Officers responded to the area and arrested the suspect without incident, Seattle police spokeswoman Renee Witt said in a statement.
Police first received the call about a shooting in the street at 32nd Avenue South and South Dearborn Street about 8:30 p.m., Detective Jeff Kappel said earlier today.
The suspect apparently exchanged words with people inside a 1980 Chevrolet sedan, which had stopped in the street, Kappel said.
Something went on between the suspect and the car's occupants, Kappel said. "The suspect ran into a nearby house, which is a family member's house, grabbed a gun, returned to the vehicle, and shot the victim — appears to be one time — as the victim sat in the driver's seat."
The bullet pierced the car's back window and struck the driver, according to a neighborhood resident, who rushed to help.
"His head was back, and his eyes were open," and a female passenger was holding him up, said David Graham. "I saw a lot of blood."
Seattle Fire Department medics pronounced the man dead at the scene. Authorities have yet to release his name, describing him only as a man in his late teens or early 20s.
"There were two other people in car, a male and a female, both estimated to be in their late teens to early 20s," Kappel added. "They were not injured. Both were interviewed by our homicide detectives and released."
After the shooting, Kappel said, "the suspect then reportedly ran back into the house."
For hours, Seattle police SWAT team and hostage negotiators surrounded the house late Wednesday and into this morning, yelling through a bullhorn for the suspect to come out.
"We made repeated attempts to contact him and have him surrender," Kappel said. "We were unable to ever make contact with the suspect. So, at approximately 1:45 a.m., our SWAT team made entry into the residence and determined nobody was inside."
Graham said he had been on his deck reading when he heard "something that sounded like an explosion."
He walked down the street and saw a car idling in the middle of the street. A teenager or young man was yelling for someone to call police. Inside the car, Graham said, he saw the victim in the driver's seat and the young woman.
Graham said he and a neighbor were about to offer first aid when police officers arrived.
Graham described the street he has lived on for 22 years as generally quiet.
"This is not something you'd expect in this neighborhood," he said.
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
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