Two men were wounded in a drive-by shooting Monday afternoon near the Beacon Hill library branch, which police say was struck by what may have been return gunfire from the victims.
Two men were wounded in a drive-by shooting Monday afternoon on Beacon Hill, according to Seattle police.
The victims were taken to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening wounds after the shooting in the 2800 block of 17th Avenue South.
The two victims and a woman were crossing a street near the Beacon Hill library branch around noon when someone opened fire from inside a car, hitting both men, according to Lt. Scott Bachler of the Police Department’s South Precinct.
One man, 26, was struck in the leg, while a 21-year-old man was hit in the ankle, police said.
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Police believe the two men may have returned fire at the car, with two bullets striking the library. The bullets struck a window and a side door of the building, but no library patrons here hit, Bachler said.
A woman who was with the victims suffered an unrelated medical emergency and was also taken to a hospital, he said.
Witnesses said the two gunmen fled in a black or dark-colored four-door car, possibly a Honda.
The Seattle Police Department’s gang unit also responded to the shooting scene, where officers collected a number of shell casings, said Bachler.
John Rosapepe was returning a book and was inside the library when he said he heard five to seven gunshots. He said library staff ordered patrons away from the windows.
According to Rosapepe, a woman had walked into a meeting room lined with windows facing Beacon Avenue South to hang some posters but left moments before one of the windows was struck by gunfire.
The library was locked down for 15 to 20 minutes, he said.
“They finally let people out after the police came,” said Rosapepe, praising the library staff’s quick response. “They told people to get down and to get away from the windows.”
He emerged from the library in time to see medics, who had treated the gunshot victims in the parking lot of a bank across the street, load them into ambulances. “It’s a big city, so I guess I’m not surprised,” Rosapepe, 64, said of the shooting.
The library branch was closed for the remainder of Monday.
Sam Sakura, who lives nearby, happened upon the shooting scene as police continued to pour into the neighborhood.
It’s “kind of unnerving,” said Sakura, 69. “You could be at the library with your kids or going to the bank and somebody could get shot … Here, it’s becoming too normal.”