They gathered on a Spanaway street to remember a teen fatally shot two years ago.
Instead of exchanging condolences and hugs at the Thursday night vigil, the crowd exchanged gunshots.
By the end of it, bullets pierced three houses — narrowly missing a sleeping newborn and a sleeping toddler — two vehicles, and one man’s leg.
The crime scene stretched across two city blocks.
No one has been arrested. Dozens of witnesses, including the victim who was shot in the leg, have refused to speak with investigators.
The vigil was in honor of 17-year-old Jatarius “Trey” Tolbert, who died in Tacoma on May 11, 2015, after an acquaintance mistakenly shot him while firing at someone else.
A vigil days after his death attracted more than 100 people.
Tolbert’s family and friends advertised this year’s gathering on social media, and a large crowd formed in the 2100 block of 178th Street Court East.
The 911 calls started pouring in about 11 p.m.
Witnesses reported up to 20 people in the street, shouting and fighting and shooting at one another. People were running for cover and fleeing in their cars.
Pierce County sheriff’s deputies responded within three minutes and found an empty street.
The man shot in the leg drove himself from the scene but deputies later found him at Portland Avenue and East 72nd Street.
He was taken to a hospital, where he was treated and released.
“The victim could not or would not provide any information regarding the suspect, the suspect’s vehicle, or any information on the circumstances of the shooting,” sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
Investigators said the shooting appeared to be gang-related but it was unclear what specifically prompted the shootout
Tolbert wasn’t a gang member but associated with some, including his two brothers, police said.
Tolbert died May 11, 2015, while hanging out with several young men in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood.
Someone drove past in a vehicle similar to one driven by a person Tolbert had been having problems with and a teen in Tolbert’s group opened fire on the vehicle.
Only later did Tolbert’s friends realize he’d been shot.
Treveon Reed, 17, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in February 2016 in Tolbert’s death.
Tolbert’s older brother, Amancio Tolbert, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault last year for a shootout outside a Lakewood gas station.
He was also charged in the “Halloween Robbery” case in 2012 when a group of teens robbed trick-or-treaters and a few adults in 2012. Charges were later dismissed.
His younger brother, Jasiah Tolbert, pleaded guilty in September to first-degree rendering criminal assistance. He was among a group when a 16-year-old fatally shot Phillip Ryan Jr.