SEATTLE - The Seattle Police Department is looking to identify two suspects they say tried to carjack a man at gunpoint while he was at a carwash and shot him in the eye.
Just before 2 a.m. on April 25, the victim was sitting in his vehicle at one of the self-serve car wash bays at the Brown Bear Car Wash on NE 145th Street in Lake City, according to police.
‘Karim’ agreed to speak with FOX 13 News but asked that his last name be withheld for his safety. He says he pulled into the car wash to eat a burger after work because the area was so well-lit.
That's when two men approached his car, opened the door and tried to rob and carjack him at gunpoint. "I was like, ‘Don’t do this. You guys don’t have to do this. Please don’t do this man. I don’t have any money,’" said Karim.
He says he agreed to give them his keys but both suspects started to retreat, firing their handguns at him repeatedly while he was still sitting in his driver's seat.
"I just heard a boom and I started seeing blood and I started the car again and I did not realize how many shots they had fired," said Karim.
A bullet fragment hit him n the face. He was able to drive himself to the hospital where he spent several weeks recovering. The bullet wound left him scarred and blind in his left eye.
Detectives say the suspects were walking in the area when they spotted Karim sitting in his car and started to close in. Polie believe it was a crime of opportunity.
"One approaches from the front. One approaches from the rear. They try to open the car door and get the guy out of the car," said Ret. Sgt. Jim Fuda with Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound.
The victim describes both suspects as possibly being East African, perhaps Somalian or Ethiopian, based on their accents. The only other identifying factor the victim could give was that they appeared to be under the age of 30.
Both suspects were hooded and wearing masks.
"Their faces are covered but somebody is going to know who these guys are," said Ret. Sgt. Fuda who added that if you are in a similar situation, give the suspects your car or whatever they demand. "Your car is not worth your life," he said.
Before the shooting, Karim was working two jobs including one as a dishwasher. He moved to Seattle from the Ivory Coast when he was 14.
Now, he has no job, the sight in his right eye is failing and his resources are tapped. To make matters worse, his car was towed while he was still recovering. So, I took him to the tow lot, paid his bill and helped him find it. The silver Mercedes has bullet holes in the hood, side door, rear of the car as well as a shattered window. It will need lots of care just like Karim who has to fight back tears knowing his mother was almost grieving the loss of her son.
"I beg, whoever can, just please say something, do something, please. Not just for me, but for the next victims. For the previous victims. Do something, please, somebody out there," said Karim in a plea to get the suspects identified and caught.
He said he forgives them but wants to know who they are and what was going through their minds.
Seattle Police are asking for the public's help in identifying the suspects. Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest. You can leave an anonymous tip on the P3 Tips app or by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Here is a link to donate to help Karim.