A man was hit by a “grazing” gunshot to the head and told police he and another man were robbed by a group of suspects in Cal Anderson Park early Friday morning.
Police investigating a loud boom in Cal Anderson around 12:55 AM arrived to find people running through the park away from the gunfire in a reported armed robbery incident. After chasing down one of the suspects, police found a male victim conscious and alert inside the park where he was treated by Seattle Fire.
SPD was investigating the boom when officers saw a group of males running north from the soccer field through the park. One of the group was chased down and taken into custody by police near 12th and Howell. Police also found a handgun — jammed with a stuck spent cartridge — ditched in nearby bushes, according to East Precinct radio dispatches. Police also found wallets not belonging to the suspect.
SPD is investigating the incident as an armed robbery. The victims told police they were surrounded by a group of young males in the hold-up. A search for more suspects was not successful.
UPDATE: Police say the arrested suspect is a teenager:
East Precinct officers arrested a 17-year-old robber near Cal Anderson Park early Friday morning after he pulled a gun and fired a shot, leaving one victim with a grazing gunshot wound to his head.
The two victims were hanging out in the park around 1 AM near the baseball fields when a group of four or five men and one woman cornered them in the field’s dugout.
The 17-year-old suspect then pulled out a handgun, pointed it at the victims and demanded their wallets.
As one of the victims handed over his wallet and cellphone, the suspect fired one shot, grazing the victim’s head.
Officers patrolling near Cal Anderson heard the gunshot and sped to the scene, where they saw the group of suspects running through the park.
The 17-year-old broke off from the group and led police on a brief foot chase before officers took him into custody.
The teen suspect was still carrying the victim’s wallet and cellphone when officers caught up to him. Police also found his handgun, which he’d ditched near the park.
Seattle Fire Department personnel treated the injured victim’s thankfully minor injuries at the scene. Officers also returned the stolen cellphone and wallet to the man.
Officers booked the teen suspect into the King County Youth Service Center for Investigation of Robbery.
Concerns have grown in recent summers about seasonal upticks in violent crime in Cal Anderson but 2014 has been relatively quiet for the central park. Last summer, another effort to improve public safety included increasing Seattle Parks ranger hours in the green space and an increase in police presence around the 11th Ave at Pine park.
Despite the incident, it’s a busy time of year for Cal Anderson and the park is likely to again be full of people. Friday brings a morning piano performance and a movie in the park. Next weekend, a street food and craft festival will take over part of the park.