Mike Lindblom and Emily Heffter, The Seattle Times, July 24, 2011
At least 12 people were shot at a crowded lowrider car show in Kent on Saturday, creating chaos as cars sped from the scene and frightened spectators ran for the safety of nearby shops.
Patrons and employees in the stores and restaurants locked the doors and crouched in backrooms to escape the gunfire.
Nine people–seven males and two females ranging from age 14 to 32–were taken to Harborview Medical Center with injuries to arms, legs, feet and torso.
Four others were shot, at least two of whom went to other hospitals, police said.
Kasner described a chaotic scene as cars sped away from the La Raza lowrider show after the shooting at about 4:15 p.m.
Witnesses said the La Raza car show had been going on in the parking lot during the weekend. About 50 lowrider or classic cars were on display.
Some of the car exhibitors blamed the violence on groups of young people who showed up at the party “mugging,” or staring each other down.
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 in the paper, 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.
“Hopefully, this will be a wake-up call to law enforcement,” to staff the shows, said a small-business owner who identified himself as Marco M.