Shootings Last Night in White Center and Renton--Is This the "Gang War" Police Warned Us About?

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A .40 caliber slug
Last week, King County officials allocated $1.4 million in reserve funds to combat a "gang war" reportedly raging across King County. But aside from the shootout in July at a Kent car show that left 12 people wounded, the "war" has been relatively bloodless. Yesterday, however, two separate incidents--one in White Center, one in Renton--resulted in one dead and two injured.

As of this morning, there's no hard evidence of gang involvement in either case. Nevertheless, the circumstances of each incident certainly fit the bill.

Last night at 7:37 p.m., Seattle Police received a report of shots fired on the 9700 block of 11th Avenue Southwest in West Seattle. Witnesses described hearing four or five shots fired, and a victim was found with a single bullet in his back. Police located a .40 caliber shell casing at the scene, and located a bullet hole in the side of a house on the block.

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SPD spokesman Sean Whitcomb says the victim is a 22-year-old black male. His wounds are considered "serious but not life-threatening." Whitcomb said gang detectives were called to the scene but "that isn't necessarily an indicator that this is gang-related."

"Gang detectives often to respond to shootings that aren't necessarily fatal," Whitcomb says. "It always helps to have trained investigators handling the follow-up."

Later that night, at around 9 p.m., another shooting left one man dead and another wounded on the 200 block of Taylor Avenue Northwest near the Jet City Apartments.

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According to a brief report from, one victim was dead on arrival and the other showed up at Renton's Valley Medical Center later that night.

Details are still scarce, and a Renton police spokesperson has not responded to questions about whether gang involvement is suspected in the homicide. Check back for more information when it becomes available.

UPDATE 12:25 p.m.: According to Renton police spokeswoman Terri Vickers, the deceased victim is a 27-year-old black male from Tukwila. No information was available about the wounded man, except that he is expected to recover.

"The level of cooperation we're receiving is not conducive to crime-solving," Vickers replied when asked about potential gang involvement. "It's unknown at this time if the shootings are gang-related."

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