Man Shot On His Doorstep In Top Hat Neighborhood

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WHITE CENTER – A Top Hat-area man in his 70s was shot at point-blank range by a man who showed up at his doorstep at 2 a.m. Sunday and demanded to use the phone.

The incident took place in the 200 block of SW 116th Street between White Center and Burien, officials said.

The victim, a retired Boeing employee and Navy veteran,  was hospitalized with shoulder injuries and powder burns to his face, and is expected to recover. The suspect was arrested a short while later about a block away from the scene of the shooting.

Sean Winchester, a friend of the victim and his family, said he learned the details of what happened from family members.

He said the victim, who is in his 70s, was asleep when he heard someone knocking at the door. Answering the door, he saw a man he didn’t recognize standing there, asking to use the phone. The victim refused to let the man inside because he didn’t know him and because he appeared to be intoxicated.

“At that point, the individual pulled out a gun and shot (the victim) in the shoulder,” Winchester said. He said the bullet shattered the glass in the door before hitting the victim.

Members of the victim’s family, who also had been asleep, were awakened by the shot and called police. The gunman was arrested a short while later about a block away.

Winchester said the victim didn’t know the gunman, and the only apparent motive was that he was upset over the victim’s refusal to let him use a phone.

“Some drunk individual apparently picked the wrong house … and decided to shoot somebody at 2 in the morning,” he said.

Winchester said the suspect may have been at an “alcohol and marijuana” party in the neighborhood earlier in the day.

He said the victim was a “good man,” a 20-year veteran of the Navy and retired Boeing machinist who “wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

“When things got bad for me, when the economy tanked, they took care of me for a while, and now I’m here doing what I can for the family,” he said.


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