(AP) SEATTLE - Three men were killed and another man was wounded early Sunday when a brawl led to gunfire outside a tavern, police said.
Auburn Police Cmdr. Mike Hirman said dozens of people were leaving the Sports Page Tavern in Auburn, which is about 30 miles south of Seattle, at closing time around 2 a.m. when two groups began fighting in the parking lot.
He said several people pulled handguns and fired shots, and three men were killed. A fourth man suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was in stable condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Hirman said late Sunday. The ages of the four run between 21 and 32.
Problems between two groups, one celebrating a birthday, started inside the tavern when two women had a disagreement.
"The dispute started between two women when one of them danced with a man," Hirman said in a statement late Sunday night.
Hirman said some of the victims and suspects knew each other. The identities of the victims would not be released until Monday afternoon at the earliest, a spokeswoman with the King County Medical Examiner's office said.
Police detained a person of interest and arrested that person on an unrelated weapons charge.
Police have recovered several handguns. They believe several different firearms were used based on shell casings recovered from the scene.
Police in the neighboring suburbs of Federal Way and Kent stopped two vehicles that matched descriptions of cars leaving the scene of the shooting.
Those vehicles were seized, and their occupants were being questioned, said Hirman. The car stopped in Federal Way was riddled with bullets.