Detectives looking for ties between Seattle shooting and felon shot by San Francisco police
Seattle police say it will take time to determine if a felon shot to death by San Francisco police on Saturday is responsible for the slaying of 19-year-old Tanaya Gilbert, the woman shot in a hail of gunfire in South Seattle last week.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seattle police say it will take time to determine if a felon shot to death by San Francisco police Saturday is responsible for the slaying of a 19-year-old woman in South Seattle last week.
Homicide detectives in Seattle confirmed Monday that the man, identified by the San Francisco medical examiner as Kenneth Wade Harding, 19, was the "person of interest" in Tanaya Gilbert's shooting.
But evidence must be examined before reaching any conclusion, said Detective Mark Jamieson, a Seattle police spokesman, and San Francisco police said Monday a gun seized there doesn't match the one used to kill Gilbert.
Three other people were shot and wounded in the same attack last Wednesday in Seattle.
Seattle detectives were working on the investigation with San Francisco police, who disclosed over the weekend that a "person of interest" in the Seattle shootings had been killed in a confrontation with their officers.
Harding, who had lived in the Seattle area, was shot Saturday afternoon in San Francisco's Bayview District after fleeing and shooting at officers who had tried to cite him for transit-fare evasion, San Francisco police said.
Harding was released from the Clallam Bay Corrections Center in April after serving one year on a felony conviction of attempted promoting of commercial sexual abuse of a 14-year-old girl in Seattle.
He pleaded guilty to the offense in March 2010, admitting he had attempted to compel the girl to engage in prostitution. The girl refused Harding's demand to earn money and called Seattle police, according to court documents.
King County prosecutors also had charged him with second-degree rape of the girl when she was 13, but they dropped the count when the girl acknowledged she had lied to Harding about her age, a spokesman for the office said.
After serving his prison term, Harding was placed on supervised release in King County, said Melissa Johnson, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections.
As a juvenile, Harding pleaded guilty in 2008 to assaulting a Metro bus driver who had tried to stop a group of passengers from loudly swearing, according to court records.
No evidence has been disclosed by law-enforcement officials that directly links Harding to the Seattle shootings.
An amateur video has surfaced online showing the mortally wounded Harding and what appears to be a gun on the pavement nearby, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on its website.
The weapon disappeared from the scene, but San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said informants had provided information that led to a parolee's house in the Bayview District, where police found a .45-caliber pistol that they think was Harding's, according to the newspaper.
Suhr said the gun is of a different caliber than the one used in the Seattle slaying, the Chronicle reported.
Tests are under way to determine whether it was fired recently and whether there was gunshot residue on Harding's hand, police said.
Harding was confronted by officers working on a crime-reduction detail, who tried to question him on a Muni light-rail platform, San Francisco police said.
As the man ran, he fired at officers, who were not hurt, and at least one officer returned fire, police said.
The shooting of Harding, the third involving San Francisco police since early June, has sparked an outcry in the city, according to news reports.
In the Seattle case, Gilbert was shot twice just before 11 p.m. Wednesday, as she sat in a parked car with three friends, including two cousins and a 16-year-old girl, in the 9600 block of 54th Avenue South. The 16-year-old also was shot, as were a 21-year-old man in another parked car and a 17-year-old boy sitting on the hood of a nearby car. Gilbert's cousins escaped unharmed, said Gilbert's aunt, Rose Bankston.
Gilbert was a former Renton High School student who turned 19 a week ago, family members said. Relatives believed that Gilbert was seven weeks pregnant. But the King County Medical Examiner's office told Gilbert's mother her daughter wasn't, Bankston said Monday.
"That's not the justice that we wanted," Bankston said of Harding's death. "Now, another family is suffering like we are."
At Gilbert's memorial vigil last week, relatives and community leaders urged Gilbert's friends not to take revenge.
Gilbert was declared dead at the scene, and the three others were taken to Harborview Medical Center with nonlife-threatening injuries, police said.
Steve Miletich: 206-464-3302 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seattle Times staff reporter Jeff Hodson and news researchers Miyoko Wolf and David Turim contributed to this report, which also contains information from The Associated Press and Times archives.
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