Gunfire rang out near the Central District’s Garfield High School Thursday night in the area where a man was sent to the hospital last week after being shot in the stomach in the parking lot of Ezell’s. There were no reported injuries in the late night bout of gunplay.
The shots fired incident was the latest in a spring series of gun violence across the city, the Central District, and Capitol Hill.
In the increasingly crowded race for Seattle mayor, candidate Jessyn Farrell’s campaign is making a focus on gun violence a center of her effort to draw voters.
This week, Farrell released her plan to address gun violence with a focus on community spending in a bid to make the issue a key factor in the race.
Her campaign says the plan was developed in conjunction with Rep. David Hackney, Parkland activist Mei–Ling Ho–Shing, former Alliance for Gun Responsibility policy and advocacy director Tallman Trask, LifeWire – Together Against Domestic Violence’s Rebecca Houghton, and Seattle City Councilmember Dan Strauss.
“A Seattle without gun violence is possible, if we have the courage and commitment to enacting the policies and funding the programs we know are working right now,” Farrell said in a press release on the plan. “The only thing stopping us from achieving that goal is a lack of leadership and resources from City Hall, and that has to change. The people dying on our streets don’t have time for incremental progress, they need leaders whose actions demonstrate they understand that even one death from preventable gun violence is unacceptable.”
Farrell’s plan includes six initiatives including establishing a Seattle Office of Violence Prevention, increasing spending on community organizations, and enacting regulations like banning assault weapons and restrictions on magazine capacity.
Seattle and King County residents are less likely to die in a gun related death than the rest of the state and the country but the gun violence disproportionately affects the Black community, according to a county study looking at deaths from 2010 to 2016:
Seattle Police gang detectives have responded to many incidents of violence this spring around Central Seattle including last week’s shooting at Ezell’s, this Judkins Park shooting in late March, and the mid-April shooting in the parking lot at 23rd and Jackson in which four people were hit including a young child. Police say this April shooting on Capitol Hill, meanwhile, stemmed from a dispute at a homeless encampment near Melrose.
Police shootings have also impacted the area including officers shooting and killing Seattle University graduate student Derek Hayden as the 44-year-old suffered a mental health crisis.
Earlier in February, a tragic night of gun violence played out in the parking lot of the Urban League Village apartments and Northwest African American Museum where police gunned down the suspect after he shot and killed one person and left another critically wounded.
This year’s shootings follow 2020’s increases in homicides and gun violence across the East Precinct covering the Central District and Capitol Hill.
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