There's news to share on the Peter McKay shooting. I have collected a few items that together will give you an update.
First, the reward fund came together very quickly. Currently there is about $8,500 in the reward fund, and not all the contributions have yet been received. I expect it will grow some. I know a lot of you who read here contributed and I think it is really great that we can come together, so quickly and effectively. Way to go!
Crime Stoppers did produce the signs and posters announcing the reward offering quite quickly. Several SIR members and friends immediately plastered the West Seattle and White Center neighborhoods with these signs. In addition, Tim Hennings wrote up a press release and sent it out to media outlets in Seattle. Here is a copy of the press release:
This is to let you know that a $7,500 reward has been set up for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) who shot Peter McKay, a Seattle cyclist, as he rode home on the evening of Thursday, November 1. Peter's blog details the incident. As you'll note, he was nearly killed. He was shot twice. One pellet entered his lung. Another narrowly missed his aorta and spine. Both pellets are still in his body. This was not an air gun used in this assault -- it was clearly a real gun that was used to shoot Peter. The police believe that it was a 22 caliber handgun. This is a very frightening and new form of violence against cyclists. The initial reaction from the local cycling community was one of shock, followed by swift action. Within three days of coming up with the idea of a reward, more than $7,500 was pledged from local cyclists. There is no question that many times this amount could be raised from the cycling community. Within a week of the shooting, volunteers papered West Seattle with hundreds of flyers announcing the reward. The intent of the reward is to approach this issue in a constructive way. In addition to our objective of catching Peter's assailants, we want to put the bad guys on notice that violence against cyclists will not be tolerated. Any incident of this type will be challenged, and we will make every effort possible to work with the police to catch them. We also want the general public to know that if they witness any other crime of violence against cyclists that they should immediately report it. It is the right thing to do -- and there will likely be a reward waiting. There is already some movement towards setting up a permanent reward fund for this purpose. If anyone has any information about this shooting, they should immediately call the Crimestoppers hotline, 1-800-CRIME-13, or 206-343-2020. We are also encouraging additional contributions to the reward fund. Here is the information:* Payable to the Bicycle Alliance of Washington* Mailed to this address: BAW, PO Box 2904, Seattle, WA 98111* You can also pay via PayPal
(pay to email@example.com ).* Either way, the amount should be noted as being for the"Crimestoppers - Cyclist Shooting Reward".
I have been the informal point person on setting up this reward, and you are encouraged to contact me any time with questions or comments. I think I can speak for all cyclists when I say that we are very grateful for your prompt coverage of this matter.
That’s the good news and I think you will agree it is pretty powerful stuff. Unfortunately, all the news related to this matter is not good. It turns out that a number of other people have suffered similar attacks in the general area of Peters shooting, presumably perpetrated by the same hoodlums. Find below links to a newspaper article and a television news report.
Newspaper story: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/339581_bb14.html
TV report with video: http://www.kirotv.com/news/14593941/detail.html
What’s next? Well no one can know the future, but my guess is that one of three scenarios is likely to play out:
These idiots will continue with these attacks and someone will get a license plate or other identifying information and they will be caught, or;
The reward will get big enough that someone who knows who is doing this will rat them out and they will thus be caught and punished, or;
All the publicity and the high reward will spook them enough that they will go to ground, either permanently or until things settle down a bit and they will then resume their attacks.
Stay tuned; I’m not going to post a moment by moment account but if there are significant developments I’ll put that up for your consumption. I know there are many of you who have contributed to the reward fund from all across the country, thanks for your participation.