July 23, 2011 in Region

Eight wounded in Kent shooting

The Associated Press
 

SEATTLE — People screamed and ran as gunfire broke out and eight people were injured Saturday at a crowded parking lot in a suburb south of Seattle, authorities and witnesses said.

Seven people were taken to the hospital after the shooting at a low rider car show at La Plaza shopping center on Pacific Highway in Kent, Wash., said Kent Fire Department Lt. Pat Pawlak. A total of eight people were injured, but one man did not want to go to the hospital, Pawlak said. He didn’t have further details.

There have been no reports of casualties. KOMO News reports no one has been arrested.

Kent police Sgt. Jarod Kasner told KOMO News that the shootings may have been gang-related, and that the gang unit has been called on the scene.

Adriana Velazco, a manager at a Los Cabos Mexican Restaurant in the shopping center, said she saw two people on the ground after the shooting. She said that she didn’t hear the gunshots but was told by an off-duty police officer dining at the restaurant to hide in the back of the restaurant along with patrons.

“We saw people running all over the place,” Velazco said. “People were knocking on the door of restaurant but we weren’t allowed to open the door.”

TV news footage showed a few of the shooting victims arriving at a Seattle hospital, numbers drawn on their bodies. The victims appeared alert and stable.

The car show, listed as La Raza low rider car show on a Latino events website, was located in the parking lot of the shopping center, which is located along the busy Pacific Highway. Kent is about 20 miles south of Seattle. The city is a mix of suburban developments and older industrial centers.


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