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Over 50 shots fired outside Capitol Hill nightclub, injuring one man

Police said people near the nightclub were seen hiding behind cars as the shots were fired.

SEATTLE — Police said over 50 shots were fired outside a Capitol Hill nightclub early Sunday morning, injuring one man and causing damage to several nearby businesses.

The Seattle Police Department said in a release that officers in their patrol car at the intersection of Boren Avenue and Pine Street heard gunshots from the 1200 block of Pine Street at about 2:30 a.m.

Officers saw vehicles leave the area and people near the nightclub hiding behind cars. No victims were initially found, police said.

Police said a 35-year-old man arrived at Harborview Medical Center about 15 minutes later after the shooting was reported with a gunshot wound to his leg. He told officers he had been shot near a club in the 1200 block of Pine Street.

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Another victim, a 33-year-old man, arrived at Harborview with a gunshot wound to his leg, but he refused to say where he was when he'd been shot, according to investigators. Detectives are still piecing together whether the second victim was involved in the shooting. 

Detectives found more than 50 shell casings in the area and a "ghost" gun, which are unserialized and untraceable firearms.

Officers found two cars with ballistic damage and several surrounding businesses with thousands of dollars in damage to their windows.

Among the businesses that have window damage from bullets was La Cocina Oaxaqueña on Pine, which dealt with the same issue after a shooting in February this year.

The owner of nearby Italian restaurant Ristorante Machiavelli said she is concerned by the recurring gun violence.

"I feel like I would never in a million years feel safe leaving this restaurant open until 11 with the activity that has been going on," owner Suzette Jarding said.

Jarding said the shots fired Sunday morning did not affect her business, but she feels for her neighbors like La Cocina Oaxaqueña and others.

"If you just walk around the Hill right now, there's a lot of windows boarded up, there's a lot of graffiti, it just doesn't feel the same," Jarding said.

She and other passersby pointed to the Mint Lounge, where they claim the recent shooting incidents stem from.

"I have seen this go on for a very long time, and even when it was the Baltic Room, it was still an issue, even back then," said Jarding, who's been working at her Capitol Hill establishment for 24 years.

KING 5 spoked to the owner of the Mint Lounge by phone, who said she feels for the neighboring businesses when they are affected by crime, but that any blame on her nightclub is misplaced.

"We always try to do our best and be proactive as possible," said Rachel Keith, owner of the lounge.

Keith said they prohibit weapons from entering the venue and anyone with weapons is told to leave. She also desires police presence to return to how it was before COVID, noting that it could help any violence from escalating.

"If there were an incident, it would help resolve them before it turned into something larger with us," Keith said.

Keith also noted that her business asked all customers to leave the club by around 1:45 to 1:50 a.m. -- well before the shooting broke out that Sunday around 2:30 am.

Authorities asked the public to call the Violent Crimes Tip Line at (206) 233-5000 with any information on the shooting.

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