Teens arrested after string of drive-bys, crash in University Place

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. — It all started with a bang Thursday night, a single shot. Not long after deputies arrived to the University Place home where a bullet ripped through the front window, another call came in.

Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies were on scene at the second shooting for a matter of minutes before a third call came in. Once again, a single shot through a window of a home.

“It was very strange that it was just one shot through one window-and then move onto the next place and do it again,” said Pierce County Sheriff’s Sgt. Darren Moss Jr.

At the scene of the third shooting, the bullet tore through multiple walls at a family’s home. A teen who was inside the home when the shooting happened said the bullet grazed the top of his head before he ducked on the floor. His response was the same as everyone’s we spoke with.

“University Place, I didn’t think anything like this would happen here.”

As investigators were trying to wrap their heads around three shootings within an hour, a fourth call came in.

“Witnesses called in to report that three subjects kicked in a door and broke a window in an apartment building,” said Sgt. Moss.

Two cars in the apartment complex were also struck by suspects in a car matching the same description as the other calls. And then 45 minutes later, a 5th call.

This time, the suspects were said to have fired a single shot through the window of a parked RV.

As investigators combed through the 5th crime scene of the night, yet another call came in about three suspects in a black pickup truck. This time witnesses saw the truck crash through a fence and hit a pole.

Officers arrived to find two 16-year-olds and a 19-year-old. They say one of the teens had a backpack full of ammunition, and a semi automatic rifle was found nearby.

“I’ve been doing this for almost 12 years now and I’ve never heard of kids, young kids, doing multiple drive-bys in one night,” said Sgt. Moss.

Investigators arrested the teens, but they say they still don’t know what motivated their brazen attacks in what was reportedly a stolen vehicle. But they say one thing is certain: the crime spree is baffling.

“University Place is a really nice community and so to have something like this going on there is just way out of the ordinary,” said Sgt. Moss.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.