2 survivors of deadly downtown Seattle shooting still have bullets lodged in their legs

ByShannon J. Cortes

Aug 2, 2022

Two survivors of the deadly January 2020 shooting in downtown Seattle testified in King County Superior Court on Monday, detailing the terrifying ordeal.

The victims were caught in the crossfire of a gang rivalry that ended in the death of one woman and the injury of seven others. Marquise Tolbert is one of the alleged shooters on trial, charged with first-degree murder and six counts of assault.

Excruciating pain is what two of the survivors remember most from the fatal shooting. Both men were fleeing the shots when they were hit in the back of the thigh. To this day, they each still have a bullet in their leg.

Monday was the first time Derek Bolt had seen Seattle police body camera video of the times first responders attended to him after he was shot near 3rd Avenue and Pine Street. the shooting took place on the busy sidewalk in downtown Seattle.

“Keep running. Don’t die. Keep running, don’t get hit. That’s all I could keep telling myself,” Bolt said with tears in his eyes.

On a map presented as evidence, Bolt showed the court the route he was following when he left work moments before the bullets flew. He said he remembered hearing the first shots just behind him before turning to his left and seeing a suspect firing a gun a few feet away from him.

“It looked like a semi-automatic, not a revolver, had a magazine. So something like a nine millimeter or 380 or something like that – a black pistol. And it was pointing down when I seen,” Bolt said. “When I saw the weapon, I was then in fight or flight and I knew I was in danger. So my instinct was to turn in the opposite direction that was safe and run. At that moment The only thing that crossed my mind was stay down, don’t get hit. Stay down, don’t get hit.

Randall Sullivan also ran for his life. He said he was on his way home texting his wife when the shooting happened. Sullivan said he crossed the street to a sidewalk before falling to the ground in pain from a gunshot wound to his thigh. He said a security guard was by his side until first responders arrived.

“They had to cut all my clothes off to make sure I wasn’t hit anywhere else but I just couldn’t feel it. So I remembered I was naked on the sidewalk because they had to checking my whole body to make sure I was okay,” Sullivan said.

X-rays later showed Sullivan had two bullet fragments lodged in his leg.

The prosecution argued that Tolbert and another suspect fired indiscriminately through the crowd, intending to hit a member of a rival gang, who was also firing a gun. Tolbert’s defense said he was not the first or second person to fire his gun, saying he was responding in self-defense.

Although both sides make their case at trial about what triggered the shooting, Bolt said he remembers hearing an aggressive argument before the shots rang out.

“It sounded very hostile and angry just based on the tone,” Bolt said.

Cindy Morningstar was shot at least three times and is another survivor of the deadly January 2020 shooting. She is due to testify Tuesday morning in King County Superior Court.