A man buying laundry detergent while video-chatting on his cellphone and a woman visiting from Portland with her family, including three young nieces, were the victims of Saturday’s chaotic shooting on a crowded sidewalk in Seattle’s Little Saigon International District neighborhood, according to King County prosecutors.
Touched off by a street robbery, the two pedestrians were each shot in the left leg by a stranger, prosecutors say.
Raymond Castillo, 28, of Seattle, was charged Wednesday with two counts of first-degree assault, first-degree theft, attempted theft of a motor vehicle and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, court records show. In addition to the shooting near South Jackson Street and 12th Avenue South, he’s accused of stealing the wounded man’s cellphone and then attempting to hot wire his aunt’s car at a nearby gas station, charging papers say.
Castillo, who was arrested at the gas station in the 800 block of Rainier Avenue South after refusing to get out of the car for two hours, remains jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail, jail and court records show. Previously convicted of two counts of first-degree robbery, Castillo is not legally allowed to possess firearms, according to prosecutors.
Seattle police also arrested Jasmine Lyons, 27, of Burien, who was charged Wednesday with first-degree theft in connection with the cellphone theft, say the charges. She remains jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Castillo and Lyons are to be arraigned Nov. 3. Neither appear to yet have attorneys assigned to represent them.
Around 12:15 p.m. Saturday, several people called 911 to report a shooting in the 1200 block of South Jackson Street. Police responded and learned from witnesses that a man and woman had tried to steal a bottle of whiskey from an older man, before the male suspect snatched a cellphone out of the hand of another man, charging papers say.
That victim followed the pair, asking for his cellphone back and offering $10 for its return, say the charges. The woman took the money and her companion extended the phone to the man but then threw it on the ground, smashing the screen, charging papers say.
The male suspect then tried to fire a stun gun at the victim’s face but when that failed, he pulled a handgun from his jacket and fired several shots into the crowd on the sidewalk, hitting the man and a female bystander, say the charges.
The wounded man hobbled to safety while the woman, who was flanked by her three nieces when she was shot, was helped away from the scene by her family members. Both were taken to Harborview Medical Center.
Witnesses reported that the shooter and his companion ran from the scene and video-surveillance footage showed them running east on Jackson, then south on Rainier to the Shell Food Mart, say the charges.
A Seattle police officer arrived at the gas station at 12:43 p.m. and spoke with an older woman, who said she’d been asked to pick up her nephew and his female companion, who gave her money for gas, according to the charges. As police cleared bystanders from the scene, the man and his companion got into the woman’s vehicle, though the younger woman exited the car and was detained. A small stun gun was found in her possession, say the charges.
The man was able to start the car without the keys by hot wiring it, but the car somehow became inoperable and later had to be towed away, according to the charges. After repeatedly telling officers to shoot him, negotiators and SWAT officers were called to the scene and the man surrendered around 3 p.m., the charges say.
Police got permission to search the car and found a .40-caliber handgun inside.
As of the end of September, 73 people had been killed and another 283 injured in shootings in King County so far this year, numbers that have already exceeded 2020’s record-breaking, year-end total for fatal and injury shootings, according to data provided by prosecutors earlier this month.