Dozens of people were enjoying Memorial Day festivities at Seattle’s Pritchard Island Beach when two volleys of gunfire just after 7 p.m. Monday left a woman and children injured and many people panicking and fleeing.
Police Detective Mark Jamieson, in an evening news conference, said a woman and two children had been injured.
Later, Susan Gregg, a spokeswoman for Harborview Medical Center, said a woman and three children had arrived at Harborview. All had gunshot wounds, Gregg said.
Three were in critical condition, according to Gregg: a 27-year-old woman and two boys, one who is 8 years old and the other described as under age 2, but the condition of the 8-year-old was later upgraded to serious. A 10-year-old girl was in satisfactory condition.
Later Monday night, the police department offered more details in a news release posted online, but also called the information “preliminary” and “subject to change.” Police said witnesses told them two groups of people began shooting at each other in the park’s parking lot.
A woman who had been sitting in the back seat of a parked car, holding her 10-month-old child, was hit, as was the child, according to the news release. Another child was struck, but those injuries were not life-threatening.
It was not immediately clear why there was a discrepancy between the police and hospital. Jamieson said it was possible a victim not immediately known to police could have been taken separately to the hospital. Gregg said one victim had been brought to Harborview from another hospital.
Homicide detectives and crime-scene investigators were gathering evidence at the scene Monday evening.
Jamieson said police did not have descriptions of any suspects and did not know if more than one weapon had been fired or if there were multiple shooters.
About 100 people were enjoying the sunny weather before the shooting, witnesses said, when two sequences of gunfire rang out just after 7 p.m.
Jennifer Weston, who lives nearby, estimated she heard about 10 rounds. Then a pause. Then a “really bad” stretch of gunshots.
Then, “I heard screaming,” she said.
Jennifer Davis, who was at the beach, said she fled after hearing gunfire. Then, a woman ran up to her with a young child, who was covered in blood.
“The baby was very upset,” she said. Blood was in the child’s ears.
Ahmed Ali said he saw a woman slumped in the back seat of a car.
“Her shirt had blood all over. Her back seat was covered in blood,” he said.
Andra Lewis, Davis’ husband, said the remnants of gunfire covered the parking lot.
“You walk down there you’ll see tons of bullets,” he said. “Seattle has changed.”