1 dead, 6 wounded in shootout outside Federal Way bar
One man was killed and six people were injured in a shooting that erupted at a Federal Way bar early Wednesday.
Seattle Times staff reporters
Police are still piecing together what led to a shooting early Wednesday outside a Federal Way bar that left one man dead and six others wounded.
Police believe several people opened fire outside Johnny's Famous Grill and Bar, 2318 S.W. 336th St., just before the 2 a.m. closing.
A Federal Way man with an extensive criminal record has been arrested in connection with the shooting.
When Federal Way police arrived, they found three victims outside the strip-mall bar. Two were wounded and a third, Cloise Young, 23, was dead.
Four additional victims — including the man suspected of shooting Young — turned up at local hospitals a short time later, said Federal Way's Deputy Police Chief Andy Hwang.
Hwang said the people involved had been inside the bar before closing time, but it was not clear Wednesday what prompted the shootout.
According to Federal Way police Cmdr. Stan McCall, the suspect, identified as Kenneth Sutton, 21, is a self-proclaimed gang member who was reported to have "said something about gangs as he was fleeing."
McCall also said preliminary ballistic evidence indicates that Young may have returned fire after he was shot.
"Either he pulled out his gun and fired from the ground, or somebody who was near him used his gun," McCall said.
Young's name wasn't released by the medical examiner, but he was identified by family and friends.
"He was a good guy with a huge heart," said his mother, Vicki Nash. "He was a good brother, a good son and a wonderful father."
Jay Williams, the father of Young's half-brother, said Young had gotten involved in sports at an early age and that kept him out of trouble. He took his younger brother under his wing and attended all of the younger boy's sporting events.
"He was just in a confrontation with the wrong person," said Williams.
"It's a tragedy," said Nash. "My son is dead and this other young man will spend his life in prison."
The man arrested in connection with the slaying, Sutton, has prior criminal convictions for second-degree promoting prostitution, assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of stolen property, obstruction and malicious mischief, according to a 2010 filing by the King County Prosecutor's Office.
In 2010, Sutton was charged with commercial sexual abuse of a minor for allegedly pimping out young girls. He eventually pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree promoting prostitution as part of a plea agreement, according to prosecutors.
Sutton was sentenced to a year in jail and has been on supervision by the state Department of Corrections (DOC) since his release from prison in January 2011.
It's unclear why Sutton's jail sentence was shortened.
DOC spokeswoman Maria Peterson said Sutton has violated the terms of his probation four times since his release.
The new offenses are for hit-and-run and driving with a suspended license; failure to report to community-corrections staff; failing a drug test; and failing to report a change of address.
Sutton has been jailed for each of the violations, Peterson said.
Community-corrections officers went to Sutton's home June 22 to approve an address change. He was home at the time, Peterson said.
In addition, Sutton spoke with DOC staff Tuesday and was directed to report to his community-corrections officer Wednesday, Peterson said.
Federal Way police spent much of Wednesday interviewing victims at hospitals in Tacoma, Valley Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. While none of the victims' wounds were considered life-threatening, four remained in the hospital on Wednesday and two of those suffered serious injuries, McCall said.
In the strip mall where the shootings occurred, friends and members of Young's family huddled and grieved early Wednesday. About a dozen young people sat on the sidewalk or stood around outside the yellow police tape, talking quietly. One man sobbed as he spoke into his cellphone.
"Cloise was a really, really great guy," said Shannon Gergen, who has known him since ninth grade. "He loved his little girl. He was a great father; he showed photos of her all the time."
While Gergen wasn't at the bar when the shots were fired, she showed up at the shooting scene with friends Wednesday morning.
Friends told her that several people, including the man suspected of shooting Young, were dancing inside the club when there was some kind of "misunderstanding" that led to the gunfire.
Young attended Lindbergh High School in Renton and was named by The Seattle Times as one of the area's standout football players in 2007.
Family said Young was attending college to earn a degree in business management and that he dabbled in music promotion. He was an entrepreneur by disposition, his mother said, and he hoped one day to own his own business.
He was the type of person who made friends for life and was devoted to his family, said Nash.
He was especially committed to his 2-year-old daughter and the 13-year-old half-brother, his mother said.
"She was a daddy's girl and he took her to the park and played with her every day," said Nash.
On June 18, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan and King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg said local authorities planned to get tough on gun crimes by prosecuting more cases under federal statutes.
The announcement was prompted by a rise in gun violence. In Seattle alone, 19 of 21 homicides this year have been from firearms.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Seattle Times staff reporters Jack Broom, Sara Jean Green and news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report, which includes information from Times archives.
Information in this article, originally published June 27, 2012, was corrected June 28, 2012. A previous version of this story indicated that Kenneth Sutton had been convicted of commercial sexual abuse of a minor. In 2010, Sutton was charged with commercial sexual abuse of a minor, but he pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of second-degree promoting prostitution as part of a plea agreement, according to King County prosecutors.