Belltown residents demand better protection after deadly shooting



Posted on June 7, 2010 at 5:32 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 7 at 6:45 PM

SEATTLE – A deadly shooting outside a nightclub in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood has residents calling on the city to take action to make the area safer.

"The mayor is going to hear from us. The city council is going to hear from us," said Belltown Community Council President Richard Nordstrom.

Steve Sok, 21, was killed and a 44-year-old man was wounded in the shooting outside the V Bar Noodle Lounge at Second Avenue and Blanchard Street early Sunday. Police say the gunman ran inside the club and got away.

Homicide detectives were back out at the scene Monday afternoon searching the club and nearby businesses for surveillance video.

Nordstrom says Belltown residents and businesses are frustrated with the violence and want the city to take action.

"Right now, we've got to focus on what are solutions so this tragedy doesn't occur again," said Nordstrom.

Veteran restaurant cook Hoang Quach isn't waiting for another violent incident.

"I tell my boss 'I quit,'" said Quach.

Sok's mother wants answers too.

"Why my son die. I don't know," said Nim Sok.

Police do not have a motive, which worries friends of Sok who visited a small memorial at the shooting scene

"When you think about stuff, that's messed up. Somebody getting shot when you don't know the right or wrong reason. That’s' what I don't get," said Chundy Sarey.

Friends of the wounded man say he was an innocent bystander who was walking down the street when the shooting happened. Detectives say they want to talk to him.

"V" Bar manager Jeff Pham says the restaurant security guard witnessed the shooting and says the gunman fled down the street." Even if I have ten security guards standing right here, it would have been the same thing. It's a tragic and unfortunate incident," says Pham.   The manager says he feels like his place of business is being "villanized" just because they happen to be open late serving food." We don't choose the customers." says Pham,"The customers choose to come in your place."