Seafair's official Filipino American community festival precipitated a bullet-riddled car chase through south Seattle yesterday. Gunmen tailed a 20-year-old and his teenage nephew from Seward Park to I-5, firing shots throughout the pursuit, wounding one, and causing an accident on the freeway.
When the 20-year-old went to park his blue Chevy Suburban, he noticed a gray or green car creeping behind. Here's the rest of the story, per the SPD account:
The victim tried to lose the suspects in the neighborhood and a chase ensued.Police say no gun was found in the victim's car, and they have no reason to suspect he or his nephew returned fire during the rolling gun battle. The 20-year-old and the driver of the crashed Kia were both taken to Harborview with non-life-threatening injuries. The gunmen are still on the loose.
The suspects started shooting at the victim in the 9000 block of Beacon Avenue South. The chase continued and more shots were fired by the suspects at Beacon Avenue South and South Juneau Street. Indications are that the suspects fired still more shots at the victims at South Columbian Way and South Spokane Street.
The chase continued onto I-5 South. The victim was driving in the car pool lane when the suspects pulled up alongside the victim in between the car pool lane and the cement highway divider at about mid-Boeing Field on I-5 South. The suspects shot at the victim yet again, striking the victim in the shoulder.
At some point the shooting victim collided with a silver Kia 2-door occupied by two women in their 20?s who were not involved in the altercation. Upon being struck by the shooting victim's vehicle the Kia driver lost control, struck another innocent motorist in a Toyota, and overturned. The occupant of the Toyota was not injured.
The shooting victim's Suburban came to rest alongside the cement divider on I-5 South.
Police say a parked car on Beacon Ave South was peppered with bullets, but otherwise no bystanders were hit. Fortunately, the shooting took place away from the festival, where shooting in the crowd could have been both chaotic and tragic. More on Pista sa Nayon from the event's official Facebook page:
The tradition of the Pista sa Nayon dates back centuries to the rural areas and towns of the Philippines. During Pista sa Nayon, a Filipino phrase translated "town festival", Filipinos would gather for a fiesta in the middle of town to celebrate a good harvest. It would be a time for people to focus on their neighbors, family and friends, solidifying the sense of community and hard work.More than 15,000 people attended the festivities peacefully in 2009. Presumably, nobody "exchanged glances" that year.
This tradition has been carried from the Philippines to America since the first large waves of Filipino immigrants arrived in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Festivals are held in many communities with significant Filipino American populations, such as those in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Honolulu. Even so, none has surpassed the size of Pista sa Nayon in Seattle.