Witness accounts challenge police

Staff writerApril 2, 2013 

A shooting outside an Auburn sports bar that left three men dead and a fourth critically wounded happened so fast that the crowd of people surrounding them didn’t know trouble was brewing until gunshots rang out, police said.

Investigators believe that is one reason why the 100 or so witnesses tell different stories about what unfolded as The Sports Page tavern shut down around 2 a.m. Sunday morning.

“This wasn’t something that lasted a long time,” Auburn police Cmdr. Mike Hirman said Monday. “Men got involved and guns came out.”

The incident stemmed from a dispute between two women at the bar when one of them danced with a man. As an argument between the women escalated, men from both camps got involved, police said.

No shooters had been identified, but a man linked to the shooting was arrested on unrelated weapons charges.

It’s unknown how many people fired guns, but police believe it was two to four. Detectives are still trying to sort out what led up to the shooting.

“We are currently trying to solidify what the dispute was and are placing victims and suspects in terms of a crime scene,” Hirman said. “With so many people, we’re getting so many different stories. We want to make sure we get the story correct.”

Police are interviewing witnesses and recovered “many” shell casings from different guns from the parking lot of the tavern at 2802 Auburn Way N., Hirman said.

Some handguns were collected from the scene. Police also impounded seven vehicles in the search for evidence. Two cars seen leaving The Sports Page after the shooting were stopped in Federal Way and Kent, one of which was riddled with bullet holes; four were seized from the bar; a vehicle used to drive the surviving victim to MultiCare Auburn Medical Center was impounded at the hospital.

The surviving victim Monday remained in serious but stable condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653 stacia.glenn@ thenewstribune.com

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