In South Seattle, Gang Watchers are On Alert

The following post is a guest submission from Northwest Gangs, a blog that has documented gang activity in the Northwest for eight years. You can follow Northwest Gangs here, on Facebook and Twitter. The blog’s manager, Brad, keeps his last name anonymous, and his opinions and analysis are his own. The gang affiliations cited and names of the victims have been independently verified by Seattle Weekly.

The recent murders of two high ranking Hoover Criminal gang members in South Seattle may have violent repercussions if the usual retaliatory shootings take place that is all too common with gang-related crimes.

In the past three weeks two “OG” (original gangster) members belonging to the Hoover Criminal gang have been gunned down near the same street corner at South Austin Street and Rainier Avenue South. On April 10, Ritchie Williams, AKA “OG Richie Ratt” was shot in the head while he was standing outside, not far from his house. He died the following day. Williams was born and raised in Seattle, and was the founder of the “Ratt Pacc” clique, the largest clique with-in the 74 Hoover gang in Seattle, with an estimated 200-plus members.

Then exactly three weeks later in the early morning hours of May 1, Derrick Lamar Hargress, AKA “OGVamp,” was shot and killed near the same intersection while sleeping inside of his car. It is said he had been camping outside of Williams’ street memorial since the day he died.

Hargress was a well-known gangster in Seattle. Hargress came to Seattle from Los Angeles in 1987 as the first wave of Blood and Crip gang members came here to sell crack-cocaine. After being convicted on federal drug charges, he spent 20 years of his life in prison, being released in 2008. Since then he has been in and out of jail on various criminal charges.

The Seattle Police have released little to no information on either shooting, and no arrests have been made in either case. It is too early to say if these shootings are connected to each other, or have connections to other recent shootings in Seattle, such as the March 29 murder of K’Breyan Clark near Judkins Park.

One thing is for sure though. To lose two high ranking members from the same gang, in such a short period of time is rare for Seattle. I can’t think of this happening any other time in recent years. There is always a chance that these shootings will lead to other shootings, and murders in upcoming weeks and months, but only time will tell what the outcome could be due to these latest deaths.

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