Rantz: Man nearly murdered in random Seattle drive-by while celebrating job promotion

May 18, 2022, 6:17 PM

Car Shot Car Shot

My 25-year-old coworker had just finished hitting a bucket of golf balls at a North Seattle golf range when he noticed a missed call from his mom. He dialed her back, eager to tell her some good news: he had just received a job promotion. Moments later, his elation turned to terror as a man tried to murder him.

The man, who asked not to be identified, didn’t immediately know what was happening. He just heard loud bangs.

“I just noticed this red, old van pull up behind me [and] I kind of looked at my driver’s side mirror and took a look at him, [but] didn’t really think anything of it,” he exclusively tells the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “I saw him inch forward a little bit more, and I took another glance into my mirror and all of a sudden, I thought golf balls were hitting my car. But it turns out they were actually gunshots.”

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‘I’m being shot at’

The alleged shooter, a male somewhere between 35 and 55, was only about a car’s length away from my coworker.

“I think my mom actually noticed [the shots] first because she was like, ‘Are you getting hit by golf balls or what’s going on?'” he recounted. “And I kind of took a second because I hit the deck as soon as you know, there’s loud noises going on in the car and put my head right on the passenger seat. And I think that’s about right when I noticed that I’m being shot at.”

His car was damaged by the bullets, with three visible holes in the exterior of his car, but did not penetrate the interior. His back, driver’s side tire was blown out.

“So I’m ducking and covering for about five seconds or so, and I peek back up to look in my mirror to see if he’s still there. Because he had me blocked in at the time. Notice he wasn’t there, I threw my car in reverse pulled out of there, and pulled right up to the kind of main gate that you get to the pro shop and parked my car and ran up to the pro shop. And I’m thankful for the guys that were in there. They were very nice and helped me out and calmed me down a bit.”

Up until this moment, my coworker hadn’t noticed the man, though said he looked like a drug addict and possibly homeless.

It appears this was completely random — or at least, unprovoked. He’s lucky to be alive.

The police response

Police arrived ten minutes later, but the shooter had already fled. But according to a police incident report, the shooter has been seen around the area by neighbors.

“[A witness] called to report hearing gunshots from the golf course, and described seeing a Chevrolet van with a camper top speeding away eastbound on Ne 135 St.,” the report says.

The caller told police that “several neighbors in the area have Ring cameras, and she will notify them to contact the police with any information they might have.” She told police that she “said the van has been seen in the area on multiple occasions recently.”

Police asked my coworker if he had any gang affiliations. He does not. Was this gang-related? It’s unclear. But my coworker thinks he may know the motive.

“Honestly, I think the only reason why he started shooting was because I saw him in the mirror. This parking lot’s a little notorious for having break-ins. So I don’t know if I ‘spoke to him’ by making eye contact with him through my mirror… but the guy just must have been on something and paranoid.”

Lucky to be alive

My coworker is obviously shaken by the randomness of the incident — he realizes he could have been killed.

“I mean, I’m just thankful that I didn’t get hit. Really, it kind of puts a little bit of perspective on life, you know. Just crazy stuff can happen,” he says. “And I guess, just tell your loved ones that you love them. And I mean, that’s really kind of what I got from it. Just a little perspective check.”

But it won’t stop him from living life and enjoying the job promotion he just earned in our building. My colleagues and I are certainly grateful he wasn’t injured.

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Rantz: Man nearly murdered in random Seattle drive-by while celebrating job promotion