At least 10 people shot at car show near Seattle; no fatalities reported

Jul 24 2011 - 7:51am

SEATTLE -- At least 10 people were shot Saturday afternoon at a lowrider car show in Kent, Wash., authorities say.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities and the victims were transported to a hospital, said Kent Fire Department spokesman Kyle Ohashi. Kent Police Sgt. Jarod Kasner said some of the victims took themselves to hospitals. The shooting occurred in the parking lot of the La Plaza shopping center in the 23200 block of Pacific Highway South.

One witness, Alejandro Lara, said a gunman was firing from in front of the shopping center into the parking lot. "First I heard like six shots, then they kept going," Lara said

He said he saw one young person on the ground, hit by gunfire.

It wasn't immediately clear what may have prompted the shooting or whether multiple gunmen were involved.

Erica Parker said she was working at a Subway shop near the car show when she and other employees heard gunshots. People started running in, she said, screaming, "He's got a gun!"

The employees said one of the victims was a middle-aged man for whom they had made a sandwich a half-hour before.

"We could see somebody laying on the ground outside the store," Parker said.

Witnesses said the La Raza car show had been going on in the parking lot during the weekend. About 50 souped-up cars were on display, and the event had been crowded all day.

After the shooting, drink cans and bottles were left scattered as people rushed from the scene. Within an hour, all the cars were gone.

At Pro Nails near the scene, employee Tran Tran said she heard a couple of pops, which she thought might be gunfire or firecrackers.

Shortly after, a mother with two children went into the store and said she was scared and had been standing right next to a gunman.

About 10 people rushed into the back restrooms of the nail shop after locking the front door, Tran said.

The owner of a nearby restaurant said an off-duty police officer had just finished a meal with his family when the shooting started. He left to go to his car, but returned to the restaurant and told everyone to get away from the windows.

The restaurant owner, who did not want her name used, said she had been intimidated throughout the weekend by the rowdy crowds at the car show.

Before the shooting, she said, she saw two men fighting on a corner at the edge of the plaza.

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