Three people were wounded in a gunfight between the occupants of two cars shortly before 3 a.m. Thursday at an apartment complex in Renton, police said.

The incident started when two men in a white car went looking for the girlfriend of one of the men, said Renton police spokeswoman Terri Vickers.

“The girlfriend had called the passenger in the white vehicle to ask for a ride, but while they were talking, he heard somebody else picking her up,” said Det. Robert Onishi. “Then they went looking for her,” he said.

The men in the white car found the woman in a dark-colored sedan and started following it through the parking lot of the Sunset View Apartment Complex at 2101 S.W. Sunset Blvd., police said.

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The driver of the dark-colored car stopped and two men got out, pointed guns at the men in the white car and attempted to rob them, police said.

They then opened fire.

The passenger in the white car returned fire, police said.

The driver of the white car, a 20-year-old Seattle man, was hit by gunfire when he got out of the vehicle to flee, Onishi said. The girlfriend of one of the men in the white car, a 19-year-old Seattle woman, was also hit by gunfire as she got out of the dark sedan, police said.

Both were taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after police and medics arrived, police said.

A third shooting victim, a 24-year-old Seattle man who police believe had been in the dark vehicle, was driven to Harborview by a private vehicle and arrived around the same time as the other two victims, Onishi said.

Onishi said the three victims sustained what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries.

Onishi said they do not yet know if any of the men in the two vehicles knew each other before the shooting, but said it did not appear that the woman had been taken against her will.

He said police are still trying to sort out what happened exactly, but said nobody appears completely innocent.

“You have to wonder why they were driving around at 3 in the morning with this convoluted story, but it does appear the people in the dark car were trying to rob the people in the white car,” he said.

Christine Clarridge: cclarridge@seattletimes.com