A 52-year-old Seattle man who was the subject of a lengthy police search last week was booked into jail Friday, accused of shooting a man in the face Tuesday morning outside a Rainier Valley gas station.
James J. Tyler was booked into the King County Jail late Friday afternoon and is being held in lieu of $750,000 bail, jail and court records show. Charged with first-degree assault, Tyler is also suspected of menacing a different man with a firearm Monday night and then firing a shot during a dispute with a woman four hours before the gas-station shooting, charging papers say.
According to the charges, Tyler shot the 34-year-old man once in the face, the round entering his chin and striking his trachea. The victim underwent surgery and was listed in serious condition Saturday in the intensive-care unit at Harborview Medical Center, according to a nursing supervisor.
Tyler is apparently known on the streets as “O.G.” — a slang term that stands for Original Gangster — according to the charging papers, which say he also goes by “Big James.” He has been booked into the jail 28 times since 1986, the court documents say.
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Just after 9 a.m. Tuesday, police were called to the Valero gas station at 7301 Rainier Ave. S., where witnesses reported a man had been shot in the face and was on the ground and unresponsive, charging papers say.
One witness, who knows both the alleged victim and shooter, said he tried to intervene in a verbal dispute between the two, according to the charges. As Tyler became more aggressive, a handgun visible in his waistband, the 34-year-old man with whom Tyler was arguing pulled a small folding knife, held it at his side and gave some sort of verbal warning to Tyler before turning and walking away on the sidewalk, the charges say.
Tyler fired a single shot from 10 feet away from the man, who fell to the ground, according to the charges. The gunman left the scene in a silver SUV, witnesses said.
Seattle police found Tyler’s SUV parked in the driveway of a Seward Park-area home and surrounded the residence for about four hours before determining Tyler wasn’t there, the charges say. The residence belongs to a woman whose daughter is friends with Tyler, say the charges. Detectives later found a .38-caliber revolver, wrapped in a red shirt, in a dresser drawer in one of the bedrooms, according to the charges. There were five live rounds in the weapon, with one fired cartridge under the firing pin, the charges say.
On Friday afternoon, officers spotted Tyler in South Seattle, driving a car with vanity license plates featuring his last name, according to a post on the Seattle Police Department’s online blotter. He was arrested near 48th Avenue South and South Rose Street, the post said.
Tyler’s SUV was impounded by police but he also owns a Mercedes, according to the charging papers.
While charging documents indicate Tyler is 52, the Seattle police post says the suspect arrested Friday was a 39-year-old man.