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Suspect reportedly opens fire on witness after violent Capitol Hill street robbery

A woman was assaulted, dragged down the sidewalk, and had a pistol held to her head in a violent street robbery late St. Patrick’s night on E Pine that included a police car colliding with another vehicle as officers rushed to the scene, and the suspect reportedly opening fire after being confronted by a witness.

Police scoured a Capitol Hill partially darkened by COVID-19 closures in an unsuccessful search for the suspect in the just before 11 PM attack. One police cruiser was involved in a two-car collision at Broadway and Pine during the rush to the scene of the robbery. There were no reported serious injuries in the crash.

The robbery victim lost her purse to the suspect and suffered abrasions and a burn to her back from where she had been dragged across the pavement by her assailant. Meanwhile, a witness said he barely missed being shot during the suspect’s getaway.

The victim told police she had withdrawn cash and bought a bottle of wine at a nearby E Pine store and was walking with her phone toward Broadway when she noticed the suspect heading toward her from near the Seattle Central campus:

The suspect began running towards her, yelling “give me your purse” and “give me your wallet.” She noticed he had a firearm drawn and pointed towards her. He ran up to her and held the firearm approximately 2 inches from her right temple. He grabbed onto the straps of her green tote and purse and pulled her. The pull caused her to fall to the sidewalk and the suspect began dragging her. She was on her back, the back of her head to the suspect and was dragged westbound on the sidewalk, along the south side of E Pine St. She was screaming as he dragged her.

The victim told police the suspect released her as he fled with the purse. She said she gave chase but stopped when she heard a gunshot.

Police say a man who had been walking on Boylston heard the commotion and saw the suspect running with the victim chasing behind. The witness said the suspect stopped next to a bicycle rack located on the east side of Boylston. “Did you steal that purse?,” he asked. The witness said the suspect, standing around six feet away, aimed the pistol directly at him, fired the gun, but did not hit him. “He heard the sound and said believed he saw smoke coming from the firearm,” the SPD report on the incident reads. “The staff of Hot Mama’s Pizza told him to get inside and he ran inside the restaurant where he called 911.”

The suspect was last seen fleeing the area northbound on Boylston.

Police and a K9 fanned out across the neighborhood searching nearby streets, Cal Anderson, and Capitol Hill Station for the suspect described only as a black male with long dreadlocks, around 5’6″ with a thin build, and wearing a baggy jacket or hoodie at the time of the hold-up. There were no immediate arrests but police were working to gather security video from the area to help identify the suspect.

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17 thoughts on “Suspect reportedly opens fire on witness after violent Capitol Hill street robbery

  1. Damn. Excepting peace officers, guns are for pussies. I hope they get this guy, he’s convicted and he spent a couple of decades in prison, learning how to not be a savage. Oh, and, make him labor, too.

  2. Dang,

    How do we stop crimes like this?

    Is it because people these days are increasingly under immense financial pressure? Desperate times? I’d like to know a root cause for crimes like this? I mean no one with a good paying job would do this would they?

    I’m not justifying the actions of this attacker, I think it’s disgusting and he should be jailed for a long time but how do we stop people from doing these things? Video doorbells aren’t enough.

    • The punishment has to be so harsh that nobody would try it. This type of behavior doesn’t exist in societies that have brutal, zero tolerance policies (i.e. go to the UAE, for example… thefts and shootings just don’t happen).

      But our society would never stand for that. We’ve been robbing each other from the start. And robbing and shooting each other as soon as guns were invented. It’s our culture. It’s our DNA.

    • The vast majority of people who do this are not bridge but the vast majority of people who are not rich don’t do things like this. Even people who are dirt poor as I have been. The idea that this is done because of desperation is dishonest. There are many people who are desperate for money who don’t behave this way. The lack of morals for one thing and a lack of regard for the humanity of others.

    • Most violent street criminals are desperate for cash and cell phones so they can buy drugs, jewelry, expensive clothes/shoes, etc. Not because they want to buy a sandwich. Catch a clue.

  3. Please – these things happen for so many societal issues we all should know and, if not, should finally start wondering why we aren’t being conscious of the obvious…racial injustices of so many kinds over a millennium, capitalism that leaves most struggling financially and the list goes on and on. No one, if given equal opportunities and care and respect and value would ever willingly choose to be a thief, homeless, etc. Wake up people. There’s truly no excuse for being ignorant any more like this. Stop the rhetoric of privilege, please.

    • BS – people who are criminals will be criminals, the only difference between people of means who become criminals and people who have no means is the types of crime they commit….

      It’s a problem with people who are sociopaths – who don’t have a conscience, who don’t view other people as anything other than objects to be used and thrown away. One person may grab a gun and rob people because that is the means that are available to him/her and that he/she knows about – the next may swindle people out of their life savings with a Ponzi scheme.

      Most people aren’t sociopaths, thankfully, but being privileged or not being privileged, high status or low status, it doesn’t matter. The common denominator is a disregard for the lives of others. While the rest of us may fear someone who kills more than one who simply steals, and therefore rank those crimes as worse, the root is still the same and the outcome is still the destruction of someone else’s life.

  4. A robbery with a firearm, and I think firing point blank at somebody – isn’t that attempted murder? This isn’t just bodily assault and purse snatching. This is “lucky two people weren’t killed.”

    • Person in another comment trying to blame capitalism and racial injustice for this purse snatching apparently missed the part where the perp fired point blank at a man a question. We give too much leeway to criminals and it has corrupted our instincts and sensibilities.

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