Two men in custody in series of Seattle assaults

Associated Press

SEATTLE — Two men have been arrested in a series of shootings and assaults that claimed two lives, police said Friday.

Police served a search warrant Friday on a home in suburban Renton and took eight men to Seattle police headquarters for questioning, police spokesman Sean O’Donnell said. Acting on information from those men, police went to an Immigration and Naturalization Service center and talked to another man.

O’Donnell said police believe the man at the INS center, a Salvadoran, was responsible for fatally shooting two people on two separate occasions: the Sept. 23 shooting of an 18-year-old youth near White Center and the Sept. 24 shooting of a 22-year-old man attacked in a car near Safeco Field.

Killed in the Sept. 24 shooting was Jorge Temblador-Topete, who had been driving with a 20-year-old man, and two teen-age girls and their mother, to a dance at the Stadium Exhibition Center near the downtown ballpark. While they were stopped at a traffic light, a gunman jumped out of a car behind them and started firing, hitting everyone in the car except the mother.

Police now say the gunman targeted his victims.

"At this point we would not characterize it as random, but the exact motive is still being investigated," O’Donnell said.

The Salvadoran and one of the men from the Renton house were being booked into the King County jail for investigation of homicide and investigation of conspiracy, O’Donnell said. The other seven men were being released, he said.

Those arrested also were being investigated in a Sept. 18 assault, an Aug. 27 assault and a June 11 assault, police said.

Police were also investigating whether gangs were involved and whether race was a factor.

Further details were not immediately available.

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