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Kent detectives still searching for car-show shooters

Kent Police continue to search for three or more suspects involved in the gang-related shooting July 23 that injured 12 people at a Kent lowrider car show on the West Hill.

Police also revealed last week that a gang retaliatory shooting that injured one man occurred at a Kent East Hill apartment complex the same night of the car show shooting.

"There was one retaliation the night of the original incident," said Kent Police Lt. Pat Lowery in an email. "An apartment was shot up and its tenant struck at the Hidden Ridge Apartments in east Kent. The victim in that case admitted to being at the car show earlier."

The Hidden Ridge Apartments are at 23816 100th Ave S.E.

At the car show, all of the shooting victims sustained non-life threatening injuries and are out of the hospital, Lowery said. The car show was at the Midway La Plaza parking lot in the 23200 block of Pacific Highway South, just south of the Kent-Des Moines Road intersection.

"There are currently three or more active suspects, though there may still be more we simply haven’t identified yet," Lowery said.

The gangs are from the Kent, South Seattle and Burien areas, Lowery said.

"We have currently identified more than half-a-dozen sets and subsets as present at the time of the shooting," Lowery said. "How many are involved is a matter of conjecture and followup at this time."

More than 60 high-ranking law officials attended a meeting July 27 in Burien hosted by Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas to address local and regional gang violence. Thomas called the meeting in response to the car-show shooting.

Police hope they can curtain any further retaliatory shootings.

"Anything is possible," Lowery said about whether more gang shooting could occur in response to the initial shooting. "However, Chief Thomas has already met with law enforcement leaders from throughout the region to adopt an intervention strategy with the hope of short-stopping any more violence."

Detectives hope to track down suspects in the gang-related shooting soon.

"Arrests are not imminent (such as the next 24 hours) though our investigation is rapidly progressing with many fruitful leads," Lowery said.

Reach Steve Hunter at shunter@kentreporter.com or 253-872-6600 ext. 5052.

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