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Shooting at Auburn sports bar kills three, seriously wounds a fourth
A biting wind whipped foil balloons back and forth, softly lifted and dropped flower bundles back into their places on the parking lot, harassed the flames of small candles burning fitfully outside the Sports Page Tavern in northeast Auburn.
Throughout the whole of a cold, gray Monday morning, people came to this site, walked back and forth between the three impromptu memorials, spoke to each other in low voices, told stories, cried.
Some wept for their friends.
Others, including a woman named Shawn, didn't know any of them but came out all the same.
"Utterly senseless," said Shawn, tears streaming down her face.
The grieving aftermath of a confrontation that started with a disagreement inside the bar, turned into a physical fight on this parking lot in the early morning hours of Easter Sunday and exploded in a hail of bullets that cut down three young men and seriously wounded another.
Witnesses identified the dead as 24-year-old Lorenzo Duncan, 26-year-old Nicholas Lindsay and Antuan Greer, also in his 20s.
"It's a very sad day for Auburn, the community, for the Sports Page, a very sad day," said Joe Mahoney, owner of the Sports Page, an eyewitness to events inside and outside the building.
A 28-year-old Renton man is being held in Seattle King County Jail on $250,000 bail, charged with reckless endangerment and wrongful possession of a firearm.
Hirman said events began inside as two groups, one of them celebrating a birthday, got into a verbal dispute.
Mahoney said it had been an ordinary evening and that the physical fight "only showed its head" outside in the parking lot, five minutes after closing as some 100 patrons filled the parking lot and security was busy herding people to their cars to clear the lot.
"The dispute started between two women when one of them danced with a man," said Auburn Police Cmdr. Mike Hirman in a statement issued late Sunday night. Herman said that some of the victims and suspects knew each other.
"On the dance floor in the building, there was no problem. They were arguing outside about a girlfriend dancing with another guy or something like that. Our security had no problems inside the building, none at all," Mahoney said.
Several witnesses said a woman first fired a warning shot into the air to break up the fight. Hearing that, the witness continued, a man, perhaps believing that shots were being fired in earnest, ran to his car across the lot and grabbed a gun.
An estimated 20-to-30 seconds after the warning shot, multiple individuals pulled out handguns and began firing, according to police.
Duncan, Greer and Lindsay were pronounced dead at the scene. A fourth victim, as yet publicly unidentified, was struck multiple times and transported to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition. His condition was later upgraded to serious but stable.
Later Sunday, police arrested a person of interest on weapons charges unrelated to the incident.
"We recognized one of the men as a regular patron, two of them we did not recognize," Mahoney said.
Police impounded several cars and a judge issued warrants to search them.
The bar closed for Easter and to allow employees to "get through this," Mahoney said. It reopened Monday morning.
Throughout Monday, police continued to verify all the accounts of the witnesses kept looking for additional people who may have been involved.
Police have recovered several handguns. Based on shell casings recovered from the scene, they believe several different firearms were used.
Police in Federal Way and Kent stopped two vehicles that matched descriptions of cars leaving the scene of the shooting.
Those vehicles were seized, and their occupants were being questioned, Hirman said. The car stopped in Federal Way was riddled with bullets.
"Some bullets were recovered and ballistics should match them to casings at the scene and guns recovered. Today, the judge signed warrants for the cars we impounded, and we'll begin processing them today or tomorrow," Hirman said.
Meanwhile, the community grieves.
"Always smiling, just happy all the time," Crystal Spiegel, 28, said of Duncan, a friend she had known since high school. "I found out about this on Facebook on my way home from work. It just doesn't make any sense."