RENTON, Wash. - Police say a large gathering where a shooting occurred early Sunday morning is very likely associated with a street racing groups.
According to Renton PD, the first officer on scene at about 2 a.m. reported seeing about 200 vehicles leaving the parking lot on the 500 block of S Grady Way.
It’s also the same time Thomas Conrath happened to get a work call for maintenance at Uwajimaya Supermarket.
“It seemed pretty peaceful. There were people out with their sports cars. Hoods up. Everyone gawking at each other’s motors,” said Conrath. “On the way back out there was a large fight over in this direction of the lot. The fight got out of hand. People started firing off weapons, just scattering in every direction.”
Police spent hours processing the crime scene and placing yellow evidence markers all around the parking lot.
“When I got to work I noticed there were skid marks over there and some over here as well,” said Angelica Delacruz. “I heard there were like fights. Multiple ones. I don’t know what caused it but I know it escalated really bad.”
Vanessa Johnson attended the street races and said they started Saturday night into the overnight hours of Sunday morning.
She tweeted, “Yes it was the street races. Heard gunshots and we all ran to our cars and left as fast as we could. My heart has never raced so fast.”
Over the phone, Johnson told Q13 News the car community is not about violence. She said they usually move from location to location quickly and that night they moved from Seattle down to Renton.
Just a mile and a half from the shooting incident, Chris Krystofiak of Renton Firefighters Local 864 witnessed the fire station at Lind Ave SW and SW 19th St crawling with at least a hundred cars and people.
“Street racing isn’t new for the valley down in the Renton and Kent area. It’s been going on for years,” said Krystofiak.
The firefighter who was working the shift said the group was street racing and doing burnouts outside the fire station just after two in the morning.
“Our concern was the ability to get out of our station. Two in the morning with a street full of cars,” said Krystofiak.
Renton Police are investigating the motive behind the shooting. The department is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the people involved in the incident. If you have any information, contact Renton Police investigators at (425) 430-7525.