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Originally published January 1, 2014 at 9:21 PM | Page modified January 1, 2014 at 11:24 PM

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3 killed in violent start to New Year

Seattle rang in 2014 violently, with four people shot, one fatally, two people killed in a car wreck and an arson at a crowded club highlighting a night of mayhem.


Seattle Times staff reporters

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Seattle rang in 2014 violently, with four people shot, one fatally, two people killed in a car wreck and an arson at a crowded club highlighting a night of mayhem.

“It was very busy for our officers,” said Seattle Police Det. Renee Witt, who said the string of overnight incidents was in sharp contrast to relatively calm New Year’s eves of the last couple of years.

The unrelated New Year’s incidents kicked off shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday in West Seattle, where a fight, then gunfire, erupted at a house party in the 9200 block of 16th Avenue Southwest.

A man in his 40s was shot twice in the torso and later died at Harborview Medical Center. A 33-year-old woman was shot in a hand.

Gang-unit detectives were still searching for suspects Wednesday.

Then, shortly after the clock struck midnight and more than 750 revelers celebrated the New Year at Neighbours — a gay nightspot in the 1500 block of Broadway Avenue East on Capitol Hill — someone poured gasoline on a carpeted stairway between the club’s first and second levels, then set it ablaze.

The fire was quickly doused with a fire extinguisher, police said. Someone also pulled a fire alarm, triggering an indoor sprinkler system and leading to the club’s evacuation. No one was hurt, police said.

In another incident, about 2:30 a.m., a 21-year-old man showed up at Harborview with a gunshot wound to his wrist. He later told police he was the victim of a drive-by shooting.

While he and his girlfriend were traveling in his car near 26th Avenue and East Yesler Way in the Central Area, someone in another car started firing. Gang detectives are investigating, police said.

About a half-hour later in Eastlake, a driver with two passengers in a Mustang convertible lost control of the car as it headed north on Lakeview Boulevard East, police said. The car left the road, struck a fire hydrant and rolled onto its roof.

Medics pronounced the driver and a passenger dead at the scene, police said. The other passenger suffered minor injuries and was taken to Harborview.

Then, shortly before dawn in Georgetown, a brawl outside of the Seattle Magic Wheels Motorcycle Club sparked gunfire, leaving one person with a gunshot wound and four others injured.

Police made one arrest.

That incident, about 5 a.m., started in front of the Magic Wheels Motorcycle Club on Airport Way South and South Doris Street.

During the fight, a woman was punched in the face and knocked down. At that point, Witt said, the victim’s husband confronted his wife’s assailant, pulled out a handgun, pointed it at the man and fired several shots. At the same time, someone else brandished a handgun, Witt said.

The melee continued with several assaults, Witt said.

A man who had been shot left the area in a car, running over a woman. He was later found at a gas station in the 6200 block of Corson Avenue South.

Witt said five people were treated at Harborview , none with injuries that appeared life-threatening.

A suspected shooter, 30 years old, was identified by the shooting victim and booked into King County Jail for investigation of assault. Witt said the information on the case is preliminary, and detectives are still investigating.

Staff reporter Lynn Thompson contributed to this report. Lewis Kamb: lkamb@seattletimes.com or 206- 464-2932. Twitter: @lewiskamb



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