Update: Shooting near Providence was accidental, police say
A shooting that put Providence Regional Medical Center’s Colby campus on lockdown Tuesday appears to be accidental, police said Wednesday.
Three teenage boys — ages 16, 17 and 19 — had driven to the hospital to visit a friend, a 17-year-old boy who was shot Monday night on W. Casino Road, said Everett police Sgt. Maryjane Hacker. After the visit, they walked across the street to their car.
The youngest boy picked up a stolen handgun that was in the car, Hacker said. The gun went off. A bullet went through the driver’s seat and lodged into the 19-year-old’s back.
“They got scared and they ran, and ditched the handgun into some bushes,” Hacker said.
The injured man was rushed into surgery and was listed in good condition Tuesday night.
The two other boys later talked with detectives and told them where the gun was hidden. No arrests have been made.
EVERETT — A 19-year-old man was rushed to surgery Tuesday after being shot in the back across the street from Providence Regional Medical Center’s Colby campus. Police had detained two other teens, who reportedly were visiting a 17-year-old injured the night before in one of two shootings along W. Casino Road.
The hospital was locked down Tuesday as police officers and dogs searched the area. Police said the victim and the two people being detained, ages 16 and 17, knew each other. Exactly what led up to the gunfire remains unclear.
On Monday, two shootings happened about an hour apart and just down the road from each other. In both instances, a passenger car was seen driving away after the gunfire, police said.
Neighbors living on the north end of the Walter Hall Golf Course heard multiple gunshots around 9:30 p.m., said Everett police officer Aaron Snell.
John Atkinson, 32, lives with his girlfriend in a condo, which is a quick walk from where the shootings took place. He was heading to bed when he heard the gunfire. Atkinson stepped out on the deck and saw the muzzle flash through the tree line, then a vehicle roaring up the road.
His girlfriend told him to come inside. They shut their blinds.
The shooting victim was in a car with four others near the 1900 block of W. Casino Road. He was taken to the hospital. His condition was not available Tuesday.
No one else in the car was injured. Police impounded the vehicle as part of their investigation.
While officers were on scene, collecting evidence, including shell casings, they heard more gunfire about a quarter mile away.
An apartment in the 2300 block of W. Casino Road was struck by a bullet around 10:15 p.m., Snell said. Those inside were not hurt.
Police said Tuesday it is too early in the investigation to say if Monday’s shootings are connected.
“They did happen in a very short period of time and in close proximity to each other,” Snell said.
Police also didn’t say if the gunfire was gang-related. The shootings will be assigned to a detective and the casings will be sent for analysis to the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives, Snell said.
On Tuesday, the younger teens encountered the 19-year-old in the parking lot north of the hospital adjacent to the Cancer Care Center, said Everett police Sgt. Maryjane Hacker. Police weren’t saying if the shooting was retaliation for one of the shootings Monday night.
35 shootings since December
The violence this week adds to a growing list of shootings in recent months. There have been more than 35 shootings in the city since December. Most of those have been attributed to gangs warring in south Everett, inside and outside city limits.
Many of the investigations have been closed without arrests as victims and witnesses often refused to cooperate with police. Several have involved juveniles, some as young as 13.
Detectives have investigated numerous retaliation shootings among gang members.
Two people were arrested last month in connection with a rolling shoot-out along Holly Drive. No one was hurt. Officers recovered two handguns.
Police found an empty, shot-up Jeep stopped in the road. Two men came out of a nearby home. They told officers they’d been in the Jeep and sought cover in a friend’s house. Witnesses provided officers a different story and the two were arrested. No charges have been filed in connection with the Aug. 16 incident.
Meanwhile four teenagers are awaiting trial in connection with a May 29 shooting that left a 16-year-old boy paralyzed. Police have reported that the suspects are gang members. The victim is not. He was shot while riding in a car on Beverly Boulevard.
The youngest suspect, 14, was struck by gunfire in a drive-by shooting last year on E. Casino Road. His 15-year-old brother was shot along that same stretch of road about three weeks later. Both refused to cooperate with police to identify their shooters.
Atkinson grew up on W. Casino Road. Monday’s shooting wasn’t the first drive-by he has seen, he said. Atkinson moved into the condo on the golf course a couple of months ago. On a nice day, he feeds the ducks that wander over from a nearby pond.
However, the recent violence worries him.
“Once you step outside, it can be kinda rough at nighttime,” Atkinson said. “We definitely don’t want to be here much longer.”
To address the gang violence, Everett police have shifted some resources. The department assigned a gang detective and deployed a two-officer car to focus on gang crimes. The department’s pro-active team also has been assigned to target known gang locations. Extra patrols have been added to Casino Road.
Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; firstname.lastname@example.org.