Crime

Child rapist, fellow gang member charged in Tacoma drive-by shooting and police chase

A convicted child rapist is wanted in connection with a gang-related drive-by shooting in Tacoma.

The 23-year-old was charged Monday with drive-by shooting, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a controlled substance and violation of a protection order.

His co-defendant, 24, pleaded not guilty to attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of a controlled substance. He was ordered jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Police say both men were involved in a drive-by shooting and pursuit early Wednesday.

Charging documents give this account:

A neighbor in the 7000 block of South Park Avenue called 911 around 1 a.m. to report hearing several gunshots and seeing someone in a Saturn “bumping loud bass music” fire out the window.

Officers found six shell casings in the street but no victims.

About a half hour later, police found a car matching the Saturn’s description and tried to pull it over on South Hosmer Street.

The driver initially stopped, but when officers asked him to turn off the car’s engine, he took off.

He led police on a brief pursuit reaching 70 mph and ran three stop signs before turning down a dead-end road.

The driver and a backseat passenger jumped out of the car and scaled a chain-link fence, escaping.

A 17-year-old girl with a gun hidden in her clothing was left in the Saturn.

Police found a pistol, several magazines and one gram of methamphetamine in the vehicle.

The girl identified the backseat passenger as the father of her child. He was convicted of third-degree child rape after impregnating her when she was 14 and he was 20. A judge issued a protection order to keep the suspect away from the teen.

Police found the driver several hours after the chase ended, but have not found the 23-year-old passenger.

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