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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

May 2, 2011 at 10:14 AM

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Auburn shooting victims are brothers of UW football recruit

Posted by John de Leon

-- From Times staff reporters Sandy Ringer and Jennifer Sullivan:

Two men who were shot Sunday night in Auburn, one fatally, are the brothers of University of Washington football recruit Danny Shelton. Names and ages of the victims have not been released by authorities, but Shelton said the dead man was his brother Shennon Shelton. The wounded man is Gaston Shelton, who remains at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

"He's doing fine," Shelton said of Gaston. "We spoke with him. He's doing pretty good."

UW Coach Steve Sarkisian makes note of the connection between the shooting and Shelton in his blog:

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Danny Shelton and his family. This is a tragic incident and any support he and his family get at this time is appreciated."

Police were called to the 3400 block of C Court Southeast around 5 p.m. for reports of a large fight, Auburn police Cmdr. Mike Hirman said on Sunday night. When police arrived they found two men who had been wounded by gunfire; one man had been shot in the head and the other shot in the chest.

The man who had been shot in the head died after arriving at Harborview, police said.

Officers arrested a man in his 20s for investigation of homicide. Hirman said the man is believed to be responsible for both shootings.

While a motive is unclear, Hirman said the three men were part of two separate fights that for some reason morphed into one larger brawl.

The alleged gunman claims he opened fire on the two men in self-defense, said King County prosecutors. The alleged gunman told police that a fight started between his little brother and a neighborhood girl that somehow escalated into a melee involving the victims' family, prosecutors said.

Danny Shelton, a senior at Auburn High School, is a defensive tackle who was twice named the South Puget Sound League 4A North's offensive and defensive lineman of the year. Times reporter Sandy Ringer wrote this story about him last year.

"It's pretty hard," Shelton told Ringer during an interview from Harborview.

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