A man charged with a drive-by shooting in Tacoma told police he fired a single round into the air in remembrance of a friend killed days before in a gang shooting.
The 29-year-old was spotted driving around the area near East 41st and East T streets playing loud music and allegedly flashing gang signs.
Witnesses called 911 after the man fired one shot near a playground.
When officers found him in the 3900 block of East Roosevelt Avenue, the man told police he was “out here gang-banging” because “they killed my boy,” according to charging papers.
No one was injured in the drive-by shooting.
Police believe the drive-by is connected to a double homicide that occurred in the same area Aug. 13 when five people were shot.
Killed were Rigoberto Villagomez-Dillon, 19, and Antoine Jamir Holmes, 26.
Three women who were shot — ages, 16, 17 and 34 — are expected to survive.
No one has been arrested in that case.
On Aug. 16, the day of the drive-by shooting, a funeral service for one of the homicide victims was canceled because “some unwanted subjects arrived in the area and caused safety concerns,” court records say.
The suspected drive-by shooter said it’s common in his culture to walk around a deceased loved one four times so he decided to drive the area and on his fourth circle fired a round into the air “out of sadness/anger,” records say.
He pleaded not guilty Tuesday to drive-by shooting and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. The man is being held on $100,000 bail.
He has a 2009 conviction for felony harassment and is associated with a Tacoma gang, according to Pierce County court records.