EXCLUSIVE: Both sides speak out on Tattoo parlor shooting


POSTED: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - 10:00pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - 10:14pm

Keith Boles was born and raised here in East Texas.

He lived in California for awhile, but recently moved back to raise his family and open the 13th Step Tattoo parlor.

Police say on Tuesday, 24-year-old Steven Ratliff, the co-owner of the competing tattoo parlor Addictive Pleasures hopped in a truck with 2 friends and shot up the 13th Step storefront with a 9 mm.

It just so happens, Boles had gone for some Starbucks while the shooting happened.

"He tried to get a job about 9 months ago and I denied him a job...just not what I'm looking for...just not the artwork I'm looking to put out at this tattoo shop," Boles said.

But he's not sure that was Ratliff's motive...

"I don't think it was over the job thing, I think it was just...the tattoo wars of Tyler I guess just jealousy more than anything," Boles said.

Meanwhile, just a few miles away, tattoo artists like Kory Anguish at the recently opened Addictive Pleasures are trying to distance themselves from the crime -- and their troubled co-owner.

"Addictive Pleasures has nothing to do with this crime at all, you know what I mean, this is strictly Steven's issue and his own personal problems and all we can do is support him and he's gonna have to face justice in his own way ya know...we still love him and support him, he's just gonna have to get some help ya know," Anguish said.

Anguish says they don't believe Ratliff was trying to kill anyone -- he just got 'carried away.'

"I called the guy right after it happened and we've already apologized and he knows and their entire shop knows it's not us," Anguish said.

"They did, they called and apologized which is totally respectful, I appreciate that and I got no beef with anybody in this town," Boles said.

Anguish says the shooting wasn't the result of any sort of rivalry or gang war -- he says they only have friendly competition with the other tattoo parlors.

In the meantime, Keith Boles is cleaning up the mess.

And says he plans to open back up on Thursday.

"Without the big guy upstairs, I don't know if I'd still be here ya know," Boles said.

The folks over at Addictive Pleasures tell KETK, they're not sure what the future holds for them as far as Ratliff's involvement with the business.

In the meantime, Steven Ratliff is still in Smith County jail.


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