50-person fight followed fatal shooting at South Tacoma building

Tyrell Stokes
Tyrell Stokes Courtesy

When three men were shot Sunday at a Tacoma venue, police said another 50 people at the hip-hop party were fighting.

Tyrell Stokes, 29, was fatally shot during the melee. His brother and another man were shot and survived.

Detectives said they do not know the motive and declined to say whether the Stokes brothers knew the third shooting victim.

No one has been arrested.

Officers patrolling the 5200 block of South Tacoma Way heard 20 to 30 gunshots just after 2 a.m. Sunday and responded to a building that once housed the Opal Lounge.

A hip-hop artist who recently landed a recording deal was hosting a celebration, which was publicly posted on Facebook and drew a large crowd.

The rapper was performing at the time of the shooting.

Police found Stokes inside the building with several gunshot wounds. He died after being taken to a hospital.

The other two men were found outside the building suffering from gunshot wounds.

“Inside the bar there were over 50 witnesses actively fighting with each other and with police and fire as they attempted to provide medical aid to the victims,” according to a police flier seeking information.

Detectives said many witnesses remain uncooperative and have refused to talk about what happened at the venue.

The building’s owner said his tenants own a production company and have been recording on-site, but were not authorized to have a party.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers of Tacoma-Pierce County at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

Related stories from Tacoma News Tribune