Tacoma police don’t know why a man who parked near Blueberry Park on Tuesday jumped out of his car and allegedly began shooting at two strangers parked nearby.
Several neighbors in the 7500 block of East D Street called 911 about 5:20 p.m. to report a suspicious man who was holding a handgun and getting in and out of his car.
Pierce County prosecutors later charged Roger White Sr., 54, with attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault in the shooting. He was ordered held without bail Wednesday and sent to Western State Hospital for an evaluation to determine whether he’s competent to stand trial. His competency hearing is set for Aug. 6.
Police gave this account of the shooting:
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A 29-year-old man parked near Blueberry Park with a plan to meet a friend to smoke marijuana.
While the man was still in his car, White got out of his car and approached with a handgun and either a large knife or machete. He then opened fire on the 29-year-old man, striking him seven times in the mouth, neck and shoulders.
When the man’s 31-year-old friend, who had parked nearby, saw the shooting, he ran into the park. White’s attention was drawn to the fleeing man, and he fired at him, wounding him once in the ribs. That gave the first man time to drive away in his car.
Police found White waiting outside his car when they arrived.
“The defendant spontaneously asked the officers what took them so long, and he told them the gun was located on the front seat of the car,” according to court documents.
Police do not believe White knew either victim and do not know why he targeted them.
Both men were expected to survive.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653