South Seattle Gunman Arrested Protecting His “Home”

originally published on

By Joanna Small

South Seattle —A 63-year-old man is in the King County Jail Saturday facing assault charges after he was the victim of a crime. Seattle police say two suspected prowlers tried to break into the van where he was sleeping, and he shot them both.

It happened overnight near Rainier Avenue in South Seattle. Seattle police aren’t convinced his actions were in self-defense. They say when one of the men discovered the vehicle was occupied, he fled to a get-away car being driven by a second man. Officers say the 63-year-old van owner then shot the first man in the back and the driver in the leg.  He has been arrested.

“You can defend yourself but when somebody jumps in the vehicle and is leaving the scene the argument that you’re defending yourself disappears,” explained Seattle Police Department Capt. Neil Low.

People living in their cars in South Seattle is not uncommon. Saturday morning, about a block from the scene, KIRO 7 found more than half a dozen campers. The people who live in them tell us they know their lifestyle can be dangerous.

“There’s a lot of suspicious people in this area,” John Kamph, who lives in his RV, told us. He said he’s heard some of those people rattle the door handle on his camper.

Kamph said it’s not his vehicle; it’s his home. He has a gun, he said, to protect his home. (Read More)

Note: The original text of this article mistakenly identified Rainier Beach as the area where the incident transpired.