Crime

Man paralyzed after another gang-related shooting on Tacoma’s East Side

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.

Stacia Glenn covers crime and breaking news in Pierce County. She started with The News Tribune in 2010. Before that, she spent six years writing about crime in Southern California for another newspaper.
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