If there is truly a staffing issue at Seattle Police and in the East Precinct, it wasn’t evident early Saturday morning after a bout of nighttime gunfire drew a small army of officers and ended with at least four people cuffed and in custody.
Five or so gunshots reportedly rang out across Pike/Pine just before 3 AM from the area near the Harvard Market parking lot. Police had already been responding to a large fight disturbance in the Broadway Mud Bay parking lot when East Precinct radio dispatches reported the firearm activity nearby.
With eyewitness help, police were able to locate where the gunfire occurred and rushed to the area of Seneca and Union. Suspects and a vehicle reportedly involved in the shooting were located nearby and four people were taken into custody at gunpoint in a scene crowded with officers and police vehicles.
There were no reported victims or serious injuries and there was no information about what precipitated the gun play. We also do not yet have arrest information from SPD on the incident. The 2012 Chrysler 300 was registered to a Joint Base Lewis-McChord address, according to East Precinct radio.
UPDATE 8/7/19: Police say four people were detained and one person was booked into jail for investigation of obstruction. Police also seized two handguns, and recovered a ballistic helmet and military style protective vests from the vehicle.
Regular nightlife emphasis patrols meant to increase the number of officers available in areas like Pike/Pine continue this summer in addition to increased efforts around gang violence and so-called “street disorder” launched by Mayor Jenny Durkan in May. Separately, SPD officials have said they face staffing issues due to general hiring issues for police in big cities across the country, while others have pointed to a lack of support in Seattle for police. The area around the Harvard Market shopping center at Pike and Broadway, meanwhile, has been identified as in need of security upgrades due to parking lots where crowds congregate. In July, CHS reported on a planned overhaul of the Harvard Market QFC. It’s not clear if the work will include security enhancements to the shopping center’s parking area.
Meanwhile, surface lots along Union and Harvard won’t be around for much longer. Development that will add around 150 apartment units and commercial space around the Knights of Columbus building will also include the land the lots currently call home.
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