A 19-year-old Tacoma man is paralyzed after a drive-by shooting, yet another on the city’s East Side believed to be part of an intensifying gang feud.
Three people have been charged in Thursday’s shooting near East 38th and East R streets.
Police believe the exchange of gunfire is connected to gang members trying to avenge the recent shooting deaths of Antoine Jamir Holmes, 26, and Rigoberto Villagomez-Dillon, 19.
“The present incident is believed to be related to those murders,” Pierce County prosecutors wrote in charging documents.
In Thursday’s shootout, a 17-year-old boy is charged with two counts of first-degree assault and one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. He is being held on $250,000 bail.
Two men from a rival gang, ages 19 and 25, are charged with three counts of first-degree assault. The 25-year-old also pleaded not guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and is jailed in lieu of $1 million bail.
The 19-year-old has not been arraigned. He remains in the hospital after being paralyzed from three gunshot wounds to the back.
Court documents give this account:
The 19-year-old was traveling south on East R Street when three people ran behind his Honda.
The driver did a U-turn and his 25-year-old passenger fired three shots out the window at the other group, surveillance video shows.
The 17-year-old returned fire with at least 16 shots, some of which struck the Honda and caused it to crash into a retention pond.
Police found the vehicle still running with the driver’s door open, a rear window shot out, bullet holes in the door and blood inside the car.
A concerned neighbor who heard the commotion drove the 19-year-old to a nearby hospital.
Several other neighbors told officers they heard more than a dozen shots and saw three people run into the woods after the shooting.
One person heard a girl ask, “Did we get lucky?” after the Honda crashed into the water, records say.
Officers later arrested the 17-year-old and 25-year-old.
When they searched the 25-year-old’s home in University Place, they allegedly found three handguns.