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Originally published Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 8:58 PM

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Renton vigil for dead man ends in violence, shooting

About 15 mourners were gathered for the vigil. The site was an apartment parking lot overlooking South Sunset Boulevard, where police discovered the body of a 26-year-old Renton man early Friday in a burning, bullet-ridden car.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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This could be a self pertetuating thing. Let's have another round! MORE

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A candlelight vigil for a man killed in Renton the day before erupted in violence Saturday night, with an altercation that left one man with multiple gunshot wounds.

Renton police identified the wounded man as a 23-year-old Las Vegas resident, and said he was shot in the arm, leg and shoulder. The injuries were not life-threatening, said Renton Police Detective Robert Onishi.

"It doesn't look like retaliation," Onishi said. "The people involved in this thing were apparently at a vigil to honor the decedent from the Friday morning homicide, and there was some kind of disagreement that arose."

Police responded shortly before 10 p.m. It's not clear if the wounded man was involved in the altercation or if he was an innocent bystander, Onishi said.

About 15 mourners were gathered for the vigil. The site was an apartment parking lot overlooking South Sunset Boulevard, where police discovered the body of a 26-year-old Renton man early Friday in a burning, bullet-ridden car. Nearby residents called shortly before 1 a.m., reporting the sound of at least 16 shots.

The man was at the wheel of the Mini Cooper when he was shot, Onishi said. Apparently, the car rolled backward off a steep embankment and came to rest below the parking lot.

The man was leaning forward and his foot was on the gas, revving the accelerator, Onishi said. The wheels were spinning in the gravel and the car was leaking fluids. "Just as our first officer arrived, the car blew up in front of him."

Officers believe the man was already dead from a gunshot wound.

The King County Medical Examiner's Office hasn't yet officially identified the dead man.

A group of his friends gathered at the site again Sunday morning, leaving bouquets of flowers on the scorched patch of ground.

Brittany Love, the dead man's girlfriend, said later by phone that he was her "superhero." "He was a loving, caring person," she said.

Love said she was at the vigil when the shooting occurred, but declined to talk about what happened.

The dead man's friends and family are still trying to figure out why he was targeted, said family friend Deshaundra Brown. "We still don't have an understanding of what happened," she said.

Brown said the man's family is in shock, including his 5-year-old daughter. "She said her dad isn't dead," Brown said. "She said he's in the woods fighting bad guys."

The man who died had suffered a minor gunshot wound in mid-May, in the parking lot of a nearby Walmart, Onishi said. That case remains unsolved and the circumstances were not clear, the detective said. "He couldn't provide an explanation as to why anybody would want to shoot him."

Detectives now hope to figure out why somebody wanted to kill the man.

"At this point, we're still trying to piece together a little bit of backstory about the victim's life and what we can figure out about who had problems with him," Onishi said.

Sandi Doughton: 206-464-2491 or sdoughton@seattletimes.com

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