Two men were shot in a car just after midnight near a homeless encampment at Fifth and S Michigan St. Some camp residents were just feet away from the victims and said they heard around seven shots.
"They were parked right here, just kind of in the car talking," said Christy Smotherman, a person who lives in the camp.
Two of her friends, known as "Mouse" and "Green Eyes" were killed within 20 feet of her tent.
"Boom, boom, boom, boom, and then boom, boom," she said, describing the gunfire.
She sat paralyzed after she heard the shots, not wanting to move.
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"There was one last shot at the end and I just stayed quiet for a few minutes. Seemed like a long time," said Christy. "I come out of my tent and there are two guys shot in the head, and they happen to be friends of mine."
She showed us the shattered glass that marked the spot where they had parked.
"That’s where the passenger side window was, and the bullets came through the front windshield," she said.
"I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it, because I just saw Green Eyes yesterday," said April Mosley, another friend of the victims.
Mosley became emotional as she gathered an ashtray at the shooting scene. She believed it came from Mouse's car.
"I’m keeping it," she said.
Debbie Monda, a volunteer advocate for the homeless, rushed to check on Christy and the others who camp in that area. She knows the campers from her outreach efforts, sometimes bringing them food or socks. Debbie also told FOX 13 News she knew Green Eyes and Mouse. The event also brought her to tears. She says she is fearful for the safety of those in the camp.
Christy says people in the encampment are "tight," and the tragedy has traumatized everyone.
"Mouse was really nice, usually let everyone sit in the car with him to get warm," she said.
Christy said a third man was also in the backseat of the car at the time, but survived. He was too shaken up to speak to us and was also concerned for his safety. Candles were placed at the spot where the men died Thursday afternoon.
"We are just trying to put something together in their memory," said Christy.
She says she's had a housing voucher for a while, but says there haven't been places available.
"Still really scared, and I have a housing case manager, and she’s going to be trying to get me out of here," said Christy.
She says her caseworker told her that she is going to try to get her safety Thursday night.
"It might take a little while until I get into an apartment, but she is going to see if she can’t get me hotel vouchers until then because it’s scary. That guy could come back tonight and shoot up any one of our tents," she said.
We contacted the King County Regional Homeless Authority to check on Christy's case. We were waiting to hear back as of Thursday evening.
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell's office released a statement about the shooting:
"Every person no matter their housing status deserves to be safe, and any loss of life, including those driven by gun violence, is tragic. While the intersection of crime and homelessness is nuanced, the nexus of encampments and shootings represent significant safety issues for housed and unhoused residents. The mayor remains committed to urgent action on the homelessness crisis, as the Unified Care Team works to resolve encampments, partners with KCRHA to help connect those experiencing homelessness to shelter with wraparound services, and ensure access to public spaces.
As part of the Unified Care Team’s process for prioritizing sites for resolution, they rely on verified SPD and SFD data, including looking at instances of gun violence or homicide. This particular site was inspected earlier this month. Future City actions will be informed by SPD investigation and additional information on this event."