Gang detectives have been busy lately, tracking down suspects in a series of recent gangland shootings—some related, some not—on Beacon Hill, the Brighton neighborhood, and Columbia City.
The most recent arrest came earlier this week, when SWAT and gang detectives took down a south Seattle gang member who sprayed 15 shots at a man in the Brighton neighborhood last Friday.
Around 10:15 pm on August 10th, 32-year-old Adren Conley’s long-running feud with another man—who is currently dating the mother of Conley’s child—boiled over. Conley pulled up outside of a home on 43rd Avenue S. and S. Myrtle, fired 15 shots at the other man, and fled.
Two of Conley’s shots grazed the man’s leg and foot, but he was not seriously wounded.
Gang detectives and SWAT officers arrested Conley—a member of the 44 Holly Hoovers gang—at a Tukwila apartment Tuesday evening, and Conley is now facing assault and gun charges in King County Superior Court.
Two members of the south Seattle Insane Boyz gang— Douglas Ho, 18, and Victor Contreras, 19—are also facing assault and gun charges for chasing down and shooting one of their rivals on Beacon Hill late last month.
For months, members of the Tiny Raskal Gangsters and Insane Boyz gangs have each fired dozens of bullets into their rivals’ homes and at each other on busy streets in broad daylight.
In one of the most recent incidents, on July 22nd, a group of Tiny Raskal gang members were driving through Beacon Hill when Insane Boyz members Ho and Contreras rolled up alongside them at a red light.
Ho popped up through the sunroof of the Honda Accord he was riding in, driven by Contreras, and fired a shot at the TRGs in the other car.
The bullet ripped through the side of the car and lodged in the passenger seat, but didn’t hit anyone. The TRGs quickly sped off, but Contreras and Ho gave chase.
The two cars of gang members sped across Beacon Hill, crossing 30 blocks, until members of the Tiny Raskals crashed near 22nd Avenue and S. Lucille Street, where the group took off running down the street.
Witnesses saw Ho and Contreras chase after the TRGs on foot, shooting at the group as they ran.
All told, it appears Ho and Contreras fired 19 shots during the chase. At least two houses were struck by gunfire, and a TRG member was shot once in the back. The bullet ripped through his arm, settling in his elbow.
Ho and Contreras fled the scene before police arrived, but officers found and arrested them two days later at a barbecue in Seward Park.
The TRGs and Insane Boyz are relatively low profile gangs, whose members are known mostly for committing burglaries, rather than dealing drugs or running prostitution rackets. So what led to the ongoing feud?
“This is totally about respect, this whole thing,” says SPD Gang Unit Detective Bobby Sevaaetasi “Respect is huge in the gang world. Money is good, but a lot of them don’t have money. So the one thing they have to fight for is respect.”
According to Det. Sevaaetasi, the beef between the Raskals and the Insane Boyz started with a simple stare down—interpreted as a sign of disrespect—at a south end gas station two summers ago.
That simple stare down, Sevaaetasi says, sparked a feud between the TRGs and the Boyz, which has carried on for nearly two years, and led to nearly a dozen retaliatory shootings in the last four months.
The second man returned fire, and more than a dozen people had to run for cover during the shootout. Amazingly, no one was injured in the incident.
Police tracked Justice down after they tied him to a rental car spotted near the scene, and arrested him on assault and gun charges. The investigation into the shooting also spun off into another case, which led detectives to arrest Michael Justice’s brother, Charles, on drug and weapons charges.