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Originally published Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 7:48 PM

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Man held in shooting 'sorry' bystander hurt near Folklife

A 19-year-old accused of shooting a man near the Northwest Folklife Festival told police he was "sorry that an innocent person got shot" after he fired at another man in self-defense, according to a Seattle police report released by the King County Prosecutor's Office.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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The alleged gang member accused of shooting the wrong man during a dispute outside Seattle's Northwest Folklife Festival on Saturday said he's "sorry that an innocent person got shot," according to a police report released Tuesday by the King County Prosecutor's Office.

William Anthony Diaz, 19, of Seattle, told the officers who chased him into Seattle Center House after the shooting that he had fired at a stranger who struck him in the face with a skateboard, according to the report.

But Ryan Burr, who was hit in the leg by a gunshot, says he's skeptical of the apology.

"I'm hesitant to feel anything other than the full consequence of the law should occur," said Burr, 33, who returned to work Tuesday.

A judge has ordered Diaz held in lieu of $500,000 bail for investigation of assault. The deadline to file charges is Thursday.

Diaz told police that he was walking alone in the 400 block of Broad Street when he was approached by a stranger who asked if he was from "Yaks" or "Yanks," according to the police report. The question was in apparent reference to Yakima. When Diaz kept walking, the man struck him in the head with a skateboard, the report said

Diaz said he pulled out a gun and fired three or four times.

Burr was hit in the right leg by a bullet. He was treated at Harborview Medical Center and released that day.

After officers chased Diaz down, he said he had been running "so he could find a cop," the police report said.

Officers found a .22-caliber revolver in his pocket, according to the report. The gun had four empty casings and two live rounds in the cylinder.

Police said Diaz had a large wound to his left eyebrow, an injury that was treated at Harborview before he was taken to the King County Jail.

Police have not located the man with the skateboard and would like to talk to him, police spokeswoman Renee Witt said.

Authorities say Diaz belongs to the Little Valley Lokote gang.

The Latino gang originated in Sunnyside, Yakima County, as a branch of the Sureño gang, said Randy Town, the school-safety coordinator at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission and former Yakima County gang-commission coordinator.

"They've expanded throughout the state. They may even have groups in Oregon and Idaho, too," Town said of the gang.

Diaz has a lengthy criminal history, dating to age 14. He has been arrested over tagging structures with graffiti, domestic-violence interference, being a minor in possession of alcohol and trespassing, according to court records. He has seven misdemeanor convictions, police said.

He has been arrested twice this year in the Seattle area, a law-enforcement source said.

Diaz is the only person arrested in connection with several recent shootings that have frayed nerves and prompted police to step up patrols in some areas of Seattle.

Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294

or jensullivan@seattletimes.com

On Twitter @SeattleSullivan

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