Gun violence that seized two South King County communities over the weekend left 20 people injured, including seven in an apparent domestic-violence-related attack on an Auburn-area casino dance floor and 13 at a custom-car show in Kent, according to police and spectators.

Share story

Update at 12:15 p.m. July 25: Two victims from the Kent shootings remained at Harborview Medical Center on Monday: A man and woman, both listed in satisfactory condition, said hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg.

Three victims from the shooting at the Muckleshoot Casino remained at Harborview:Two women in serious condition in the Intensive Care Unit and another woman in satisfactory condition, Gregg said on Monday.

A man who was wounded in the casino shooting has been discharged from the hospital, Gregg said.

Story originally published Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 7:25 p.m.:

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

Gun violence that seized two South King County communities over the weekend left 20 people injured, including seven in an apparent domestic-violence-related attack on an Auburn-area casino dance floor and 13 at a custom-car show in Kent, according to police and spectators.

As of Sunday night, none of the injuries was life-threatening, police and hospital staffers said.

Auburn police booked Cesar Arturo Chaparro, 42, into King County Jail on suspicion of four counts of attempted murder in the Muckleshoot Casino attack early Sunday. The injured included his estranged wife, her dance partner and her sister, said police Cmdr. Mike Hirman. Four others were injured, though none as seriously.

In Kent, police were seeking information about the shooter or shooters who opened fire Saturday afternoon in the parking lot of La Plaza shopping center, near the intersection of Pacific Highway South and the South Kent-Des Moines Road, said police Sgt. Jarod Kasner. That incident sent spectators ducking and fleeing as police converged.

Officers said as many as 300 people were attending the free, all-ages car show, which included lowriders and other classic vehicles.

Police aren’t saying what may have prompted the shootings, but witnesses reported that several young people were “mugging,” or staring each other down. No arrests had been reported as of Sunday night.

Some attending the show said the presence of “gangster rappers” from Southern California may have aggravated the situation.

In all, five of the Kent victims were admitted to Harborview Medical Center with gunshot wounds or other injuries to their arms, feet, legs and torsos. All were listed in satisfactory condition Sunday. Four others were treated and released, according to hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg.

Several victims from the car show with less-serious injuries were sent to other hospitals, police said. Information about their injuries was not immediately available.

Panic on dance floor

Chaos erupted in Club Galaxy, a nightclub in the casino, about 1:30 a.m. Sunday when Chaparro allegedly walked onto the crowded dance floor, pulled out a handgun and shot his estranged wife and her male dance partner, said Hirman, the Auburn police spokesman.

The woman’s sister also was shot, he said.

Criminal charges against Chaparro could be filed as early as Monday, Hirman said.

The four most seriously injured victims were sent to Harborview, where they were in serious condition.

Three others were sent to Valley Medical Center in Renton, where spokeswoman Kim Blakely said they were “observed and released.”

“Nobody was injured badly enough that they required treatment,” she said.

After security guards tackled Chaparro, he was arrested by an off-duty Auburn officer working at the casino, police said.

Police searched Chaparro’s Covington home early Sunday, according to neighbors.

The neighbors described him as a quiet man who had recently split from his wife and children and was living in the small, beige, single-story home on a cul-de-sac along with two or three other men.

Rebecca Wells, 30, who lives across the street, said the men mostly kept to themselves.

Wells said police had responded to the house more than once in the past year, and she believes Chaparro’s wife had moved out.

“We thought he was depressed but that he would get back on his feet,” she said.

Auburn police Cmdr. Jamie Sidell said it appears the suspect went to the casino “with a purpose, so we have to assume at this point he was looking for the female victim in this case.”

Kent police search

Police in Kent, meanwhile, continue to look for suspects in Saturday’s car-show shootings, and some of the participants say the appearance of Southern California rap groups may have fueled the confrontation.

Andy Valdes, president of the Rollerz Only Northwest car club and the owner of an award-winning 1994 blue Cadillac, said he decided to skip the show after he saw the music lineup.

“The music they sing, it’s pretty much gang-related,” Valdes said. “I already had an idea that [violence] was going to happen.”

The incident began with a confrontation at 4:15 p.m., which quickly led to gunfire, police said.

The crowd scattered, with some spectators huddling behind locked doors of local businesses. Others ran or fled in their cars as police converged.

“First I heard, like, six shots, then they kept going,” said Alejandro Lara. He said he saw a single gunman firing from the front of the shopping center into the parking lot full of people.

Help for wounded teen

A few storefronts away, Radio Shack employees locked the door, but opened it to let in a teenager bleeding from a gunshot wound to her arm.

“It just grazed her arm, but it was deep. We put pressure on it and stayed with her until medics arrived,” salesman Richard Del Toro said.

Just before the gunfire, he saw a young man with fists raised sprinting toward the confrontation near the music stage.

Police did not know whether there was more than one shooter, and they were continuing to interview victims and witnesses.

“A bad vibe”

When the shots began, car owners pushed each other to the pavement for cover, said Cesar DePale, who was there to show off the dancing hydraulics on his maroon 1986 Buick.

“It was real scary,” said DePale, who has attended about 10 other shows. “I don’t own a gun. I’ve never even heard a gunshot before. That’s how mellow I am.

“It was a good show, but a bad vibe,” he said.

Jose Gutierrez, vice president of Rollerz Only Northwest, said at least one of the bands booked for the lowrider show was from California and has a YouTube video that features performers displaying gang colors and mentioning gang allegiance.

“The bands should have raised a flag for police,” Gutierrez said.

Lokos Music of Kent sponsored the event. Organizers could not be reached by phone Sunday. Midget Loco and Baby Jokes, a pair of Los Angeles rappers associated with the Urban Kings music label, were scheduled to perform, according to YouTube clips promoting the Kent show.

Gutierrez said he stopped by the Kent show earlier in the day and there was no sign of trouble.

“There’s never a problem unless organizers bring in music artists from outside the area,” he said. “The gangster rap brings in the wrong crowds.”

Officers were not staffing the car show and its organizers hadn’t made any security arrangements with police beforehand, Kent police Sgt. Kasner said.

Valdes said he’s never seen violence at a local car show, though the events have caused problems elsewhere, according to news reports.

In 2004, a 16-year-old boy died after a shooting after a Portland car show, according to the Portland Tribune. After that, police beefed up their presence, and organizers banned gang attire, stressing the theme “It’s about the cars,” the Portland Tribune reported.

Valdes, who has a show set for Aug. 6 in Arlington, said entertainment there will feature classic rock, but no hard-core rap.

“The sheriff knows about it, the fire department knows about it, I have $1 million dollars insurance. I’m on top of it — I don’t want anything going down,” he said. “If it [violence] ever happened, I would stop putting on shows.”

Seattle Times reporters Mike Carter, Mike Lindblom, Amy Harris, Jennifer Sullivan, Lynn Thompson, Emily Heffter, Steve Miletich and news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this story. Mike Carter: 206-464-3706 or

Custom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.