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Originally published February 7, 2012 at 5:58 PM | Page modified February 7, 2012 at 11:40 PM

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Nimitz's crew reeling from petty officer's slaying

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Gregory Wayne Anderson Jr. died Sunday after he was shot during a fight that erupted as patrons spilled out of Club Republiq in Seattle's Sodo neighborhood.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Gregory Wayne Anderson Jr. came to Seattle on Saturday with a group of friends to celebrate a recent promotion and a buddy's birthday, his father said.

The 25-year-old Houston native and father of two was shot once in the stomach early Sunday during a fight that erupted as patrons spilled out of Club Republiq in the Sodo neighborhood. Two other men suffered bruises and cuts to their heads in the melee.

Anderson died in the emergency room at Harborview Medical Center, said his father, retired NBA player Gregory Wayne "Cadillac" Anderson.

A Seattle police spokesman said Tuesday there was no new information, and homicide detectives have yet to identify a suspect. Seattle police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call 206-684-5550.

The younger Anderson — known as "Little Greg" to his family — was "larger than life," a great dancer who was always the life of the party and "a good kid all around," his father said in a phone interview on Tuesday. The eldest of four kids, he was a peacekeeper, not a troublemaker, he said.

"He wouldn't harm nobody. This kid was all about family. He was the one everybody loved," his father said. "I just hope the homicide [detectives] don't give up and work as hard as they can to get who did this to my son."

Anderson was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, now undergoing maintenance at Naval Station Kitsap. Anderson's wife, Angelica, is also in the Navy and is stationed in San Diego, Anderson's father said. The couple have a 2-year-old daughter and a 9-month-old son.

San Diego was the Nimitz's home port before its arrival in Bremerton on Dec. 9 for a year of maintenance.

Anderson joined the Navy in March 2009 and was assigned to the Nimitz that October, said Liane Nakahara, a public-affairs specialist with Navy Region Northwest.

Anderson, who had last weekend off, was an aviation ordnanceman assigned to the ship's weapons department and was responsible for the maintenance and storage of ordnance onboard, she said.

Anderson's death was a blow to crewmates still reeling from the Jan. 23 death of Lt. Cmdr. Regina Mills, the Navy's first female aviation deck limited-duty officer.

Mills, 44, had stopped to help a trooper responding to a motorcycle crash on icy state Highway 16 in Gig Harbor. They were standing on the right shoulder when a pickup struck another vehicle, causing it to hit the trio. Mills was killed while the trooper suffered knee and shoulder injuries and the motorcyclist received minor injuries.

"It's been a tough couple of weeks for the crew of the USS Nimitz, and they are still mourning the loss of both Lt. Cmdr. Regina Mills and now Petty Officer Gregory Anderson," said Nakahara, adding that a memorial service for Anderson is being planned.

News researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report, which includes information from The Associated Press.

Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or sgreen@seattletimes.com

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