As investigation continues, mayor, East Precinct commander address Broadway/Pike shootings

Mayor Murray and Capt. McDonagh spoke with QFC employees Sunday night (Image: CHS)

Mayor Murray and Capt. McDonagh spoke with QFC employees Sunday night (Image: CHS)

A still from the video appears to have captured images of the assailant's vehicle heading south on Broadway (Image via KIRO video clip)

A still from the video appears to have captured images of the assailant’s vehicle heading south on Broadway (Image via KIRO video clip)

Mayor Ed Murray and East Precinct commander Capt. Paul McDonagh stood at the corner of Broadway and Pike Sunday night just feet from where one of five victims injured in a drive-by shooting fell early that morning.

The officials said they believe the neighborhood remains vibrant and relatively safe as a police department “in transition” works to solve the crime and quell a rise in gun violence in Seattle.

Meanwhile, KIRO has posted a video from what appears to be a private vehicle’s dashcam that shows the graphic shooting scene that unfolded early Sunday morning.

The car used in the attack made a slow turn onto Broadway from E Pike as a string of at least a dozen shots began and people in a group standing on the corner in front of the grocery store flailed and fell to the pavement. Four people were shot in the chaos and one was injured so badly by the exploding glass of a shattered QFC door that medics first believed the woman had been shot multiple times in the chest. Seattle Fire said the five victims in the shooting suffered minor injuries — but concern remained high in the neighborhood.

“We do see an increase in gun violence in this city and cities around America,” Murray said Sunday night to a group of business and community leaders including representatives from the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and the Capitol Hill Community Council. “It’s concerning to us.” Murray told the group the situation “has all of our attention.”

Capt. McDonagh said gang detectives continue to investigate leads in the case following the 1 AM shootings and injuries near the Harvard Market shopping center and busy parking lots used by many nightlife revelers. Plywood covered the broken QFC door but a hole employees say was caused by a wayward bullet remained unpatched inside the market Sunday night. The precinct commander said he could not share any updates on the case but the mayor said he expected to hear more about what transpired at Broadway and Pike soon. Police were looking for information about the silver sedan where the gunfire came from that was reported to have immediately fled the scene following the shooting.

Sunday night, Murray and staff from the mayor’s office told the business and community representatives that the Seattle Police Department is a force “in transition” and that more tools and officers are coming to help make the East Precinct safer. The mayor said the work underway to modernize the city’s police force isn’t an excuse but that the department is “trying to thread this needle” with how heavy a presence Capitol Hill communities will accept.

Two initiatives the City Hall reps pointed to were covered by CHS as we reported plans to expand the downtown Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion and the Multi-disciplinary Team programs to Capitol Hill. LEAD focuses on diverting drug users — and to a lesser extent, sex workers — from jail into treatment programs, while the MDT casts a wider net. Under the program, outreach workers go on patrol with officers to offer a range of social services. The programs are hoped to help East Precinct officers to focus more time on safety policing and less time on drug and homelessness issues. Downtown, drug-related calls for service rose 13% while drug-related arrests declined by 40% from 2012-2014 under the LEAD program.

A representative for the mayor’s office confirmed the programs will  be utilized in Pike/Pine up to around 14th Ave starting in 2016. The rep said the city has also completed its application for a federal grant to deploy gunshot tracking technology in Seattle. The representative said he wasn’t sure if that technology would be deployed on Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, a wave of gun violence in the city and a spike across Central Seattle has included several shootings including Thursday night’s incident on E Cherry in which a teen was hit in the leg. Earlier, the FBI announced nine people had been taken into custody in a law enforcement operation focused on guns and drugs in the area around 23rd and Union following a deadly summer of Seattle shootings.

Screen-Shot-2015-11-03-at-11.44.44-AM-600x375

The area around the Harvard parking lots near where Sunday morning’s incidents occurred draws nightlife crowds and has been the scene for brawls and assaults. In August, a 23-year-old was gunned down in a parking lot shooting in another nightlife area of the Hill on E Pine near Melrose. That murder remains unsolved. A community vigil following that deadly shooting included calls for the city and property owners to make the area safer.

Sunday night, one business owner asked the mayor and precinct commander why the Pike/Pine emphasis patrols ramped up this spring have seemingly decreased. Capt. McDonagh said the emphasis patrols are still active in the area but have shifted for more beat walking presence during daytime hours. Earlier, CHS reported emphasis patrols in the area have been focused on Friday and Saturday nights when the population in Pike/Pine swells with thousands of bar, club, and restaurant patrons. McDonagh also said it was emphasis patrol officers who arrived at the scene of Sunday morning’s shootings seconds after the bullets flew.

Sierra Hansen, the newly hired chamber of commerce director, called on the mayor’s office and SPD to hold a forum with chamber members to discuss safety in the neighborhood and the new programs coming to Capitol Hill in 2016. With Capitol Hill Station set to open early in 2016, attendees said they were also interested in talking with city officials about how the new transportation line will affect policing resources in the neighborhood.

Newly elected District 3 representative Kshama Sawant was not present at Sunday night’s meeting and representatives for the mayor’s office said they were unsure if she had been invited.

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

36 thoughts on “As investigation continues, mayor, East Precinct commander address Broadway/Pike shootings

  1. Your last sentence is odd. Seems like instead you should be asking why Sawant wasn’t taking the lead on having a meeting with community members today in response to a shooting in her district.

    • Sawant is more concerned with LGBTQ crime then helping protect ALL citizens. That was made clear in her campaign. I expect she’s currently busy doing that and/or her “tax the rich” plan. Or maybe she’s controlling rents. IDK.

    • Timmy – welcome to the future, comrade! Please report to Neighbors where you are now required to register as a gay man and hand over your weapons. Your salary will be adjusted (up or down) to $15. /sarcasm

    • I know you’re just joking, but at the risk of stating the obvious, preaching to the choir, and all that, for what it’s worth– some of us BigOleHomos are no more amused with her gay pandering than anybody else. She’s not fooling me nor most of the other grown-up queerfolk I know, and she sure as hell doesn’t speak for most, maybe not even many, of us.

  2. So, Mayor Murray and Capt. McDonagh say that Pike-Pine is “relatively safe.” Tell that to the many victims of serious crime in that area over the past few years. It does not help to gloss over an increasing problem in our neighborhood.

  3. Force the store owners to post security or hire off-duty cops or face shutdown. Eliminate this place as a gathering spot.

    • The owner of the Harvard Market shopping center should hire security to deal with loitering, drug use and selling, homeless sleeping onsite and other issues. QFC’s hired security is for QFC and therefor does not walk around the whole complex where the issues are taking place. Often the heroid addicts take over the stairwell next to QFC’s Harvard entrance so shoppers can’t use it. Shoppers are paying customers not pan handling addicts looking for their next hit.

      As for the shottings. In my 20+ years living in the Pike/Pine area it seems trouble and guns always are connected with clubs doping nights that play music that attracts gang members from Kent, Renton, and the South End who then rival the gangs from the Central District and Rainier Valley so they settle things by shooting. Sorry but you rarely see that coming from gay clubs playing EDM or C89 type dance music.

  4. I had some friends visiting from out of town and we were walking around Pike/Pine, and their main takeaway was that the city just doesn’t care what goes on.

    I know that there’s lots of debate about the broken windows theory, but I don’t see how it could hurt for the city and the businesses to crack down on the loitering hotspots.

    • I had a friend in from NYC recently and he was shocked by the number of homeless people in downtown/pioneer square/capitol hill. I haven’t been to NY more than a few times, but I still found that statement surprising. It’s highly unfortunate that crime and homelessness are not addressed more.

  5. How F-in easy is it? The police station is 3 blocks away. Put an officer on the 5 hot spot corners on Pike street from 9-2am on foot. Stand there and protect your god damn city and residents from lame ass bro’s and wanna be gangsta bitches.

    In NYC. They do something about it and you see foot patrol everywhere.

    • Would seem like constant foot emphasis patrols from harvard to 12th pike to pine would be a sensible way to improve public safety in the area. I seem to remember a candidate Ed Murray and the Seattle times talking about how a Mayor McGinn had made the city less safe and a Mayor Murray would make us more safe. But in the time Murray has been in office, violent crime, specifically gun related crime and gang activity seems to have only increased. Where are the scathing editorials in the Seattle Times indicting Murray and his police department for failing to protect the public?

    • We have constant foot patrols in the areas you mentioned and it does nothing to address the underlying issues of what is driving violence nor does it seem to deter anyone from committing these acts.

    • Not True and not what I said. Not a couple beat guys strolling around. Stand there tall and law like and make a serious presence with eyes scanning constantly that makes all these dumb asses think twice.

      Then on top of that have the bike cops cruising the alleys and the mid blocks.

      I thought the so called super computers at SPD with the predictable patrolling was in place? If that was the case there would be 9 squad cars every Friday and Sat night from 10-3am in a 5 blocks area of Seattle.

  6. Sawant thinks all they need is a place to live and crime will go away. Oh wait, the guys in the car most likely live somewhere. She is already MIA, as predicted, about actual district 3 real life stuff. Good luck with that. @Adam, City Hall in Seattle is very left leaning and mis-equates the small number of violent criminals as somehow representing entire communities and has taken a hands off approach with crime. That seems to be changing a bit now but we will see.

  7. Has there been an update on the suspects yet? I do not understand how with the resources available today they still don’t know who did this. As someone who lives in the area it’s incredibly unsettling that something like this is able to happen and that the suspects can even go this long without being caught.

  8. Would like to hear why Sawant wasn’t there. I assume CHS will follow up.

    Don’t know how appropriate it is to take her absence from this (fairly unsubstantial) event and assume it means she doesn’t care and won’t care about Capitol Hill crime. That’s a pretty personal-level accusation.

    I’ll be far more worried if she isn’t involved in the more substantive community meetings that will hopefully follow.

    I’m not sure she’ll ever be able to do enough to win over the bitter commenters around here, but she needs to do more nonetheless.

    • As I reported, she wasn’t invited to the event organized by the mayor’s office. I will send a message to her council staff to find out if she has anything to say about the incident. Final budget vote is today, though, so expect staff has a busy day ahead.

    • The mayor didn’t invite the district 3 councilperson to a meeting about violence in district 3?! Why do we even have districts if not for the purpose of people addressing crime in the neighborhoods they serve?

    • If they HAD invited her, it probably would’ve turned into a gigantic PR event complete with lots of ranting/raving and “tax the rich” bullshit and how rent control could’ve saved all this. Why would they ask for that? Still hasn’t uttered a peep about the big drug-related busts at Union&23rd either. (I assume she at least is vaguely familiar with the issues in the old Post Office parking lot by now, but you never know). That won’t easily fit into the Communist Manifesto either, so no surprise there either.

    • Also worth pointing out that despite tweeting about things on sunday (like parental leave for city employees), Sawant did not mention this incident at all.

    • agreed. how hard is it to compose a 120 character message sorrow for the events of sunday?

      and @jesse kennemer, how is this a “fairly unsubstantial” event? 3 people were SHOT. what needs to happen, people being ripped limb from limb to be substantial enough for sawant to show up to a meeting or even make a friggin’ comment about the state of her own district?

    • Yeah, I was referring to the mayoral appearance, not the shooting. Just in terms of there being little chance of policy or real change coming from that event alone.

      Four people being shot is the definition of substantial and could possibly be called a mass shooting, even if we don’t use that term to apply to this type of shooting very often.

      Thanks for the clarification, jseattle. I thought I read that they weren’t sure if she had been invited, didn’t see that she had for sure not been invited.

  9. (Copying this comment from the previous article)
    It’s hard to be completely certain, but it looks to me like the car in the video is a silver, model year 2000-2002 Toyota Avalon, with a broken driver-side mirror and possible lower front air dam damage.

  10. As a liberal and someone who has never voted for a republican , this city needs a huge dose of moderation in our leadership. Look around you… we are being taxed to the hilt and Seattle is a dump. Transportation, homlessness, violent crimes, it goes on and on. Where is our money going??

    • The last “moderate” was Mark Sidran, a Democrat who most liberals denigrated as a right winger. He was a prosecutor and tough on crime. He lost to Greg Nickels I think. This town will never come close to electing even a squishy Democrat, much less a Republican. It’s really sad there is no diversity here.

  11. Mr Murray was great in the state legislature but is incapable of understanding his constituents needs in Seattle. Between he and Sawant, you can expect no tolerance for public input. They are perfect examples of the “Peter Principle”. What is amazing is how fast they proved the theorem.

  12. Ed Murray has been so disappointing. He was great in the Legislature, and I had high hopes when I voted for him. That vote will my last for him. The number of shootings continues to climb under his very poor leadership. It seems like he has turned into more of an activist rather than someone who can effectively lead our city. As a resident of the CD, I am particularly appalled that the overwhelming majority of the regular shootings in our neighborhood go virtually unnoticed by City Hall.

    Oh, and the least our District 3 council person could have done is released a statement about the shooting.

  13. Ehh, I suspect that the decline in Pioneer Square’s nightlife and Pike/Pine’s accommodation of that audience is directly correlated to increased gun violence. The unfortunate reality, despite lack of direct causation, is that the business on the far right of this footage is attracting the people who are committing these crimes. I wish that weren’t the case. Sorry.

  14. OMG, that is so scary…….. Don’t feel safe in this city any more. And with police violence going on around the country the criminals are going to be able to take over more and more of our city because the police will be too afraid to act.

  15. You people need to stop getting your panties in a knot. Violent crime, while ever present on Capitol Hill, is 40% lower than it was in the 70’s. My recommendation to most of you? Move to Whidbey Island, where the worse that will happen is that some meth-addled white guy will bust into your farmhouse and punch you. Re Sawant, sure are a lot of reactionaries that want us to believe they know her motivations better than the author of this article. Just another reason I don’t trust Republican reactionaries.