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Business owners upset after another South Seattle shootout: ‘Something is really wrong now’

SEATTLE — People in Columbia City are shocked and frustrated over a shooting that occurred in the business district Monday night.

Hundreds of people were enjoying a nice night out when dozens of bullets started flying right before 7 p.m.

Police say shots were exchanged between a Chrysler and Honda in the 4800 block of Rainier Avenue South.

Business owners learned on Tuesday that there were 43 shots fired during the Monday night shooting. The bullets hit parked cars and stores. Amazingly, no one was hurt but many who witnessed the gunfight were stunned.

Shattered windows and shell casings littered the Columbia City’s business district.

“These rolling gun battles that we had here last night, that’s really new,” South Seattle resident Jeanie O’Brien said.

A routine safety meeting on Tuesday for business owners centered on the escalating violence in South Seattle.

“This is not the community we want, this is not the community I grew up in. Something is really wrong now,” O’Brien said.

Q13 News talked to Cheryl Talbot, who was caught in the middle of the gunfire.

“I heard gunshots and I thought I needed to duck down because they were really close ... I wanted to pull over in the intersection and that’s when someone hit me,” Talbot said.

During the shootout, the Honda rear-ended Talbot’s car, leaving its front bumper behind, before taking off.

All of the suspects got away.

“I am still a little bit shocked over it, just so thankful, honestly, I can’t believe no one was hurt,” said one woman.

A Seattle police officer fielding questions from the crowd said the incident is most likely not random, that it’s a targeted shooting.

Still the cost to the public is high.

“Forty three rounds in a four-block section is a tremendous amount of gunfire,” Michelle Bayle said.

One of those bullets hit Bayle’s storefront.

“We don’t have enough cameras to capture the evidence we need,” Bayle said.

More than 200 shots have been fired citywide so far this year, the majority of them happening in South Seattle.

“We clearly may be having a resurgence of gang activity in this region while we are trying to have a resurgence of Columbia City and Hillman and these neighborhoods,” Lara Lavi said.

In May, the Seattle Police Department told Q13 News that many of the shootings where someone had been killed or injured have been traced back to three separate altercations among gang members. Police say many of the shootings are also happening because of retaliation.