4 people shot in Seattle hours after community meeting on gun violence

SEATTLE — Detectives are investigating two shootings in different areas of Seattle Friday, hours after police department leaders held a community meeting about gun violence.

Four people were shot.

The latest shooting killed a man in North Seattle.

Officers say he was found dead on Aurora Avenue North and 137th Street near the Comfort Inn. Police were called there at around 4 a.m. Friday.

Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz was at the scene. He said officers are canvassing the area and trying to put together the pieces of what led up to the shooting. Information from witnesses indicated the shooter left the area before police arrived.

“We are putting together a task force that is dedicated to addressing gun violence and all the potential people committing shootings,” Diaz said at the crime scene Friday morning.

He said it would be focused on four areas: Aurora Avenue, the Central District, the south end and the downtown core.

Diaz said Friday’s death is the third homicide in just a few days. On Tuesday, a pregnant woman was shot and killed while waiting at a red light in Belltown. It was 11 a.m.

Just hours earlier on Friday, three people were shot at Northwest Leary Way and Ninth Avenue Northwest in the Ballard area shortly after midnight. Police said two victims had multiple gunshot wounds. A 20-year-old woman has life-threatening injuries and a 58-year-old man has non-life-threatening injuries, according to Seattle police. They were both taken to Harborview Medical Center.

The third victim did not want treatment and walked away.

During Thursday night’s community meeting at the Garfield Community Center, neighbors had a chance to bring their safety concerns straight to Diaz. Among their concerns are slow response times, lack of enforcement and violent crime.

KIRO 7 also had a chance to speak to him one-on-one.

Diaz pointed out that crime data shows a contrast.

“When you actually look at homicides and you look at shootings, we’ve actually done a really good job of reducing violent crime. We’re down 16%. The problem is people don’t feel that way. So it’s hard for me to tell people, ‘Hey we’re actually doing really good work,’” Diaz told KIRO 7.

He also mentioned Tuesday’s random shooting that killed pregnant woman Eina Kwon while she was inside a car in Belltown.

Diaz said even though the data shows that the police department is making progress, a tragedy like Tuesday’s makes it feel like the city is taking ten steps back.

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