A copy machine is all that stood between a shootout involving teenage gang members and potential tragedy Monday in Parkland.
One person was injured when members of rival gangs opened fire at the McDonald’s in the 11000 block of Pacific Avenue shortly after noon, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department reported. A 15-year-old boy believed to be involved in the shootout was hit in the hand and treated at a hospital, department spokesman Ed Troyer said.
Two stray bullets traveled across Pacific Avenue and struck the Titus-Will Chevrolet dealership.
“We’re really lucky that more random people didn’t get hit,” Troyer said.
There was at least one close call. One bullet went through the glass front of the dealership, ricocheted off a copy machine and eventually fell into the children’s play area, said Trevor Will, the dealership’s general manager.
A receptionist was sitting on the other side of the copy machine, he said.
“If it had not hit the copy machine, it probably would have hit her,” Will said. “She’s pretty thankful today.”
The receptionist, who declined interview requests, still managed to finish her shift.
“She didn’t want to go home,” Will said.
The restaurant temporarily closed but reopened Monday evening. The McDonald’s manager on duty declined to comment about the shooting.
Troyer said authorities believe the shooting involved two groups of gang members between the ages of 13 and 16. He said a total of eight to 10 gang members were involved, firing eight to 10 rounds from two, and possibly three, weapons.
Based on shell casings found at the scene, police believe one of the weapons was a high-caliber handgun and another possibly was a rifle. No weapons had been recovered as of Monday evening, Troyer said.
Troyer said the “strongest theory” is that one of the gangs set up a meeting with the other gang, intending to ambush them. He described the incident as “not a turf war, but a personal dispute.”
Investigators detained suspects, but no arrests had been made as of 9:15 p.m. Monday, Troyer said. He said the victim and his friends were being uncooperative.
“We know who all the players are and what happened,” Troyer said. “It’s just going to take some time to unravel it.”
Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the names of those involved, Troyer said.
Christian Hill: 253-274-7390
News Tribune reporter Craig Hill contributed to this report.