Shots fired near KOMO News crew in Mount Vernon

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. - A tense situation escalated Saturday evening when gunshots were fired near a KOMO reporter and photographer shortly after 5 p.m. in Mount Vernon.

Reporter Kara Kostanich and her photographer were standing along S. 27th Street, covering a story about a prior drive-by in the neighborhood. In the raw footage, you can hear the sound of a horn honking, followed moments later by a silver late model Honda Accord sedan and a dark green late model Dodge or Chrysler minivan speeding by the camera on 27th.

As the vehicles made the turn onto Section Street, around 10 shots could be heard.

"So the shots were fired and of course my immediate reaction was just to get down," Kostanich said. "And so within a few seconds of that, I ran around the front of the Explorer, got in the passenger seat and ducked under the dashboard."

Her photographer ran to safety inside a nearby home and was later joined there by Kostanich. Neither were hurt. They gave statements to police then were escorted from the area.

Police did find a home in the home in the 2700 block of East Section Street that had bullet damage, and investigators found several shell casings along the roadway. Based on information gathered so far, investigators do not believe the home was the target of the shooting.

"It appears from the lack of other damage in the area and where the casings were going that the direction was upward, so there's a chance the rounds that hit the house were misdirected and hit or skipped," said Lt. Chris Cammock with Mount Vernon Police.

Residents in the area were already on edge after a drive-by shooting took place overnight Friday in the 900 block of South 27th Street. Few people were willing to show their face on camera for fear of retaliation by the gunmen.

Cammock said that while most who live near 27th Street are great members of the community, there are still a few problem homes in the area.

Detectives are looking into whether the Friday night shooting is tied to a double homicide that also took place in Mount Vernon a week ago. No motive connecting the two has been found, Cammock said.

In the meantime, police are hoping to track down who were in those two vehicles that went speeding by the news crew.

"(The) most fortunate thing for us is some of the best evidence we got was from their camera that captured both vehicles driving into the camera and through it," Cammock said.

Anyone with information on any of the cases is asked to contact police at (360) 428-3211, or anonymously at (360) 336-0632.