SEATTLE - Two survivors of the January 2020 downtown Seattle deadly shooting gave testimony on Monday at King County Superior Court, detailing the terrifying ordeal.
The victims were caught in the crossfire of a gang rivalry that ended in the death of one woman and injuring seven others. Marquise Tolbert is one of the suspected shooters on trial, charged with murder in the first degree and six counts of assault.
Agonizing pain is what two of the survivors remembered most about the deadly shooting. Both men were running away from the gunfire when they were shot in the back of the thigh. To this day, they each still have a bullet in their leg.
Monday was the first time Derek Bolt saw Seattle Police body camera video of the moments first responders tended to him after he was shot near 3rd Ave. and Pine St. Even with a bullet wound to his thigh, Bolt said he remembered ducking for cover as the gunfight unfolded on the busy downtown Seattle sidewalk.
"Just keep running. Don’t die. Just keep running, don’t get hit. That’s all I could keep saying to myself," said Bolt with tears in his eyes.
On a map presented as evidence, Bolt showed the court the route he was walking when he left work moments before bullets went flying. He said he remembered hearing the first couple of gunshots right behind him before turning to his left and seeing a shooting suspect with a gun steps away from him.
"It looked like a semiautomatic, not a revolver, had a magazine. So, something like a nine millimeter or 380 or something of that size—black pistol. And it was pointing down when I saw him," said Bolt. "When I saw the gun, I then was in fight or flight and I knew I was in danger. So, my instinct was to turn in the opposite direction that was safe and run. At that moment the only thing going through my mind was stay low, don’t get hit. Stay low, don’t get hit."
Randall Sullivan also ran for his life. He said he was walking home texting his wife when the shooting occurred. Sullivan said he made it across the street to a sidewalk before falling to the ground in pain from a gunshot wound to his thigh. He said a security guard was by his side until first responders arrived.
"They had to cut all my clothing off to make sure that I wasn’t hit anywhere else, but just couldn’t feel it. So, I remembered being naked on the sidewalk because they had to check my whole body to make sure I was ok," said Sullivan.
X-rays later showed Sullivan had two fragments of a bullet lodged in his leg.
The prosecution argued Tolbert and another suspect were blindly shooting through the crowd intending to hit a rival gang member, who was also shooting a gun. Tolbert’s defense said he wasn’t the first or second person to fire his gun, claiming he was reacting in self-defense.
Though both sides will make their case during trial on what started the shooting, Bolt said he remembered hearing an aggressive argument before the shots rang out.
"It sounded very hostile and angry just based on the tone," said Bolt.
Cindy Morningstar was shot at least three times and is another person who survived the deadly January 2020 shooting. She is scheduled to give her testimony Tuesday morning in King County Superior Court.