Renton man charged in 23rd/Cherry shootout that left victim hit in the crossfire

A Renton man is the first person charged in Seattle Police, federal, and King County Prosecutor efforts to stamp out a string of gun violence across Central and South Seattle.

Demarco Pressley, 25, faces three counts including an assault charge and two charges of unlawful possession of a firearm after being arrested in the shooting of a woman caught in the crossfire of an apparent gang dispute.

He has not yet entered a plea on the charges, according to court records.

Police say Pressley can be seen in security video from the night of May 3rd incident at the AMPM service station at 23rd and Cherry firing off a series of shots as a vehicle speeds away and returns fire along 23rd:

Pressley is easily recognizable in the video, police say, due to his physical size. Pressley is a “very large individual,” police write, approximately 6′ 5″ and 250 pounds. Police also say Pressley is the registered owner of the car he drove from the shooting scene and that he was later seen wearing the same medallion that can be clearly seen in the video.

Police say the victim who was struck in the exchange fled from the scene and pulled over after a few minutes when she realized she had been struck. She was taken by ambulance to Harborview for treatment.

Police say at least one other person was firing a handgun on foot in the incident and that the vehicle that fled was also shooting back.

Police say that they recovered two handguns — a .380 caliber semiautomatic and a .38 caliber revolver — in a joint search with the FBI and the ATF at the home Pressley shares with his mother.

Those firearms are part of a collection of weaponry SPD and federal authorities have seized in recent weeks following a deadly May 10th gang shootout at 21st and Union. SPD said last week, “as part of an ongoing investigation into recent gang-related shootings in the Central District and South Seattle,” a joint federal and local policing effort served several warrants in the King County region last Wednesday and “recovered a cache of weaponry, including three military-style rifles, four handguns, and a significant amount of ammunition.”

East Precinct commander, Capt. Bryan Grenon told the African American Advisory Council community meeting last week that some of the military style rifles and ammunition recovered by police was found in a nearby apartment building just blocks from where the deadly shooting occurred, a person who attended the meeting tells CHS. Seattle Police has not confirmed the information and the building’s management has not yet replied to our inquiry on the matter.

This week, city officials are scheduled to meet with residents in the area and tour the streets around 21st and Union.

Pressley has a lengthy record including a conviction in a drive-by shooting when he was arrested and ultimately convicted in this 2011 incident in which South Seattle gang members opened fire during a vigil for a 19-year-old who had been shot and killed.

Police, meanwhile, have not announced any arrests in the 21st and Union homicide. Family said the 19-year-old who died was named Royale Lexing, Police have been looking for the public’s help in investigating the murder. Anyone with information is encouraged to call SPD’s tip line at (206) 233-5000.


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