3rd time wasn’t a charm for shooting victim

A 24-year-old Lakewood man survived two drive-by shooting attempts at his apartment Sunday night, but was shot early Monday in South Tacoma, police and court documents say.

The man was wounded in the leg about 12:30 a.m. in the 7400 block of South Hosmer Street; an 18-year-old man was shot in the upper body, Tacoma police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said Wednesday.

Both men were taken to Tacoma General Hospital. Both declined to give a statement to police.

Witnesses saw a man in dark clothes, standing near a restaurant, shoot toward the victims before fleeing, Cool said. They described him as black, 18 to 25, and about 6 feet 1.

The witnesses heard different guns being fired, and saw several people leaving the scene.

The case is under investigation, Cool said.

In the earlier episodes, two men were charged in Pierce County Superior Court in connection with the two attempted drive-by shootings in Lakewood.

Clifton Edward Armstrong, 20, of Parkland, and Ervin Rudolph Jr., 26, of Lakewood, were arraigned Tuesday on charges of second-degree assault and drive-by shooting.

Armstrong was charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm as well.

Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set Armstrong’s bail at $300,000 and Rudolph’s at $250,000.

Investigators initially believed the shootings in Lakewood and Tacoma were related, but Pierce County prosecutor’s spokesman James Lynch says there was no link between them.

“The two of them couldn’t have been there at the time the man was shot,” Lynch said.

According to court documents:

About 12:15 a.m. Monday, Lakewood police were dispatched to a shooting outside an apartment building in the 7500 block of 145th Street Southwest.

They found shell casings from 9 mm, .380-caliber and .45-caliber firearms in three different areas in the parking lot of the apartment complex.

Three cars had bashed-in windshields and one was hit with gunfire, police said. A 9 mm handgun was found about 50 feet away.

A witness told police two men in a blue car fired shots at another man. About 30 minutes later, the two men came back in a white car and started shooting again, police said.

A witness told police Rudolph was involved in the shooting, so they drove to his apartment and found a blue car and a white car outside. When officers announced their presence, Rudolph tried to flee out the back window but was caught.

Armstrong, Rudolph and three women were taken to a police station and interviewed.

Rudolph told police someone had jumped him last week. Police knew the man as a gang member and believe he was the man Armstrong and Rudolph were trying to shoot.

Authorities said the gang member also was the man wounded in Tacoma.

Armstrong denied being involved with the Lakewood shootings. Rudolph said he was there when shots were fired, but did not shoot himself.