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‘Highly frustrated and sad,’ says Tacoma mayor after deadly weekend of violence

TACOMA, Wash. — Another deadly and violent weekend in Tacoma has city leaders scrambling to figure out what comes next.

A total of 13 people were shot in Tacoma over the last two days. Only one victim, a 38-year-old homeowner, died.

Tacoma’s mayor says she is dismayed by what is happening in her city and beyond.

We met her here, near where eight people were shot during a rave party Saturday night.

No one died. But those who were shot are young, between 17 to 22 years old.

“Just highly frustrated and sad.”

The gun violence rocking the city she grew up in is as troubling to her as to those she was elected to lead. And Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards says all hands are on deck to solve it.

“You’ve heard us talk about our police chief who’s been working with national experts,” said Woodards. “And he’s putting together this crime plan. July 12, in our study session, the chief will present the crime plan.”

She acknowledges they have their work cut out for them.

“I heard a little bit of arguing. Someone was saying ‘F’ and then bang, bang, bang,” said Zach Cheesman.

That’s what woke him in his East 52nd street neighborhood Sunday night.

“And then back, back and forth,” he said. “Bang, bang, shooting back and forth at each other.”

It was just before 11 p.m. His surveillance cameras show the massive Tacoma police response. When the shooting ended, his 38-year-old neighbor was dead in his backyard; a 34-year-old man staggered and collapsed in the street, a 32-year-old male was also shot and a 28-year-old male and the dead man’s wife both suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

So, I’m like, holy s---,” said Cheesman. “Like, you know, I’ve been shot already. And I’m afraid it’s going to hit my s---.”

Just the night before, eight young people were shot at a rave party in the 5400 block of South Tacoma Way.

“Everybody just started running every type way,” said Brandon Thornton, an eyewitness. “It was probably like 80 people running every type way, get in the car, speed off.”

Woodards says they are not waiting to make a change.

“We’ve already started to do ‘hot spot policing,’” she said. “After what happened in this neighborhood where we’re in in Tacoma, they will be having a heightened presence.”

There are no suspects in the shooting that happened here.

One of the victims in last night’s shooting has been booked for investigation of first-degree murder.

The mayor says more gun regulation and an emphasis on mental health care are essential to truly solving this violence.