Charges filed after stray bullet nearly hits sleeping 11-year-old in Tacoma

A stray bullet from a shooting Monday in Tacoma went through the bedroom wall of a sleeping 11-year-old boy, feet from where he was sleeping, according to charging papers.

A 24-year-old man pleaded not guilty at arraignment in Pierce County Superior Court on Wednesday to three counts of second-degree assault.

Commissioner Craig Adams set bail at $250,000.

Charging papers give this account of what happened:

Police responded to the shooting shortly after 1 a.m. at apartments in the city’s West End.

They found seven 9 mm shell casings in the street and a Dodge Charger with broken windows in the parking lot.

There also were six shell casings in the parking lot. Some were 9 mm and some were .40-caliber.

Investigators learned a bullet had gone into the bedroom of one apartment, a few feet from where an 11-year-old boy had been sleeping.

They identified a suspect, who allegedly admitted after about an hour of being interviewed that he had gotten a phone call from someone who said people were smashing car windows with a rock.

The 24-year-old went to investigate, saw a car backing up and noticed another car nearby from which someone starting shooting at him.

He feared for his life, he said, and started shooting with a .40-caliber gun to defend himself.

A witness heard glass breaking, looked outside and saw a big rock by the Charger. A man yelled at a woman to get back into a dark gray car and grabbed the keys from her.

The woman picked up another rock. The couple argued, then got into the dark gray car. As they were backing up someone started running toward the vehicle and yelling. That person raised a pistol and started shooting at the vehicle as it drove away.

Alexis Krell covers local, state and federal court cases that affect Pierce County. She started covering courts in 2016. Before that she wrote about crime and breaking news for almost four years as The News Tribune’s night reporter.