Crime

Two guys with a ‘beef’ ran into each other at the store. A drive-by ensued, Tacoma police say

A Tacoma man looking to settle a score with a foe shot at him in South Tacoma on Saturday afternoon, Pierce County prosecutors say.

The 19-year-old man was charged Monday in Pierce County Superior Court with drive-by shooting and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, and his bail was set at $35,000.

His girlfriend, a 20-year-old Tacoma woman, was charged with first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and second-degree rendering criminal assistance, and her bail was set at $20,000. She’s alleged to have been driving the car from which the gunman fired.

Both were ordered to not have contact with one another or the victim.

According to charging documents:

Tacoma police were called about 1:45 p.m. Saturday for a report of a drive-by shooting involving a white Ford Mustang and a blue sedan in the 3400 block of South 45th Street. A neighbor’s surveillance camera captured the cars driving by, and an image was provided to police.

The blue car was a Ford Focus with front bumper damage.

The officer looked through the neighborhood and tried to find the cars, but neither was around. A .40-caliber shell casing was in the road, though.

About 9 p.m., the officer found the matching blue car, stopping it three blocks from the shooting site. Inside were three people — the boyfriend and girlfriend and a friend of theirs they had just picked up nearby.

As officers attempted to get the friend out of the back seat, they saw a .40-caliber shell casing on the seat, then looked into the front seat and saw a handgun stuffed between the driver’s seat and the center console.

The friend was quickly released after officers determined he was not involved in the shooting.

The boyfriend, who had been driving, was slurring his speech and denied being involved in anything.

The girlfriend said she and her boyfriend had been running errands. When an officer told her police had a picture of her car at the scene of a shooting, she began to cry. She then denied being involved, but when asked about the shell casing in the back seat and the gun next to the console, she explained what happened.

The boyfriend and another man were “beefing,” she said, but she didn’t know why. The couple was at a corner store in the neighborhood when they saw the other man. A confrontation followed.

The boyfriend told the girlfriend to drive when they saw the man’s car. She thought the man flashed a gun at them, and her boyfriend started to fire a gun from the passenger seat. She didn’t know how many shots were fired.

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