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Friday, June 22, 2012 - Page updated at 10:00 p.m.
Gunfire erupts over 'stupid' dispute in Lake City
By Christine Clarridge and Sara Jean Green
Seattle Times staff reporters
Two men were shot Thursday in a Lake City dispute witnesses said should have been settled with fists rather than gunfire.
One victim, reported to be a 30-year-old man, was wounded in the leg. A second victim, a man in his 40s, left the scene and returned minutes later suffering from a gunshot wound on his right side between his upper abdomen and back, police said.
Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore said the men were taken to Harborview Medical Center in serious condition. Neither suffered life-threatening injuries, he said.
"People have gotten lazy," said a witness who described herself as a friend of the victims. "They want to just fire a gun when they should fight."
Seattle police on Thursday night took one man into custody after he turned himself in to Lake Forest Park police. A second man may still be at large.
According to police, the shootings occurred in a parking lot in the 12700 block of 30th Avenue Northeast shortly before 4 p.m. when one of the victims was involved in "some type of altercation" with the gunman and another man.
Friends of the victims, who declined to give their names for publication, said they had been drinking and talking in the parking lot outside a Lake City 99-cent store when the two men pulled up in a car.
The men went into the store, bought something, and then got into a fight "over something stupid" with one of the males in the group, the victims' friends said.
As the two men pulled out of the lot, the passenger fired into the crowd, hitting the man they'd fought with, the friends said.
"The other guy [who was wounded] was an innocent bystander," said one friend.
Five or six shots were heard in all, said another. None in the group would discuss the nature of the dispute but all agreed it was petty.
"It should have been taken care of with these," said one man as he held up his fists.
Gang-unit detectives responded, but the victims' friends said the shooting was not gang-related.
The shooting happened just three days after political leaders, police brass and community activists held a meeting at Seattle Town Hall to decry the city's recent spate of gun violence.
There have been 21 homicides in the city this year, one more than in all of 2011. Nineteen of the victims died from gunfire.
The recent shootings have been especially disconcerting because they occurred in parts of the city "where we haven't had this kind of violence in the past," said Seattle Police Chief John Diaz, adding that the city has to change a culture in which people too readily resort to weapons to settle disputes.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or email@example.com
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