Seattle police continue to see alarming rise in homicides, gun violence

SEATTLE — Seattle police continue to report an extreme rise in gun violence and homicides. According to Detective Valarie Carson, there were 11 reported homicides in the city. The Seattle Times states this is the most the city has seen in a month in almost 15 years.

“The members of our community, I wanted to speak with you today about something that’s been keeping me up at night,” Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz said.

Chief Diaz gave a response to the grim stats on Facebook Friday afternoon and how this increase is impacting him and the department.

“With four homicides in just five days, Seattle has reached a heartbreaking milestone,” Diaz said.

Diaz says at least 25% of the homicides reported in 2022 have some link to homeless encampments across the city.

And at the current rate, he thinks Seattle could set new records in reported shootings and homicides.

“And it’s not just the homicides on the rise. Shootings are also up. So far in 2022, we’ve seen 513 shots fired compared to 391 at this time last year,” Diaz said.

The numbers have also upset Mayor Bruce Harrell.

“I’m not happy when I look at the number of murder and deaths we’ve had in the city,” Harrell said during a press conference Wednesday.

The Office of Mayor Bruce Harrell sent KIRO 7 this statement in response to the SPD numbers:

“This continued violence and crime is troubling and heartbreaking — the mayor believes that in One Seattle every person deserves to feel safe and to be safe. As far as public safety improvements go and sustainable solutions go, the City Council recently passed the mayor’s Comprehensive Recruitment and Retention Plan to retain and hire more officers, which is critical for improved response times and thorough investigations. As we prepare the mayor’s budget proposal, we are looking at a holistic approach to public safety investments that includes law enforcement, community based solutions, activation efforts, and environmental improvements. Issues created over years cannot be solved overnight, but we will continue to work with residents and businesses to develop a comprehensive approach and drive sustainable progress.”

“But when I walk the streets of Seattle, we have so much work to do,” Harrell stated.

The numbers also have people in the city concerned as well. Kyle Crawford says that for the most part, he feels pretty safe where he lives in town. But he isn’t thrilled to hear how the numbers continue to rise.

“I feel fairly safe living in an area like this, but the idea of that it’s been a record is a very scary idea,” Crawford said.

He hopes the city can come up with a plan to combat the violence soon.

“I don’t know why we all can’t just get along a little bit more. Like there’s no reason for stuff like this,” Crawford said.

On Thursday, police made an arrest in the most recent homicide off Aurora in North Seattle.

Investigators say a 47-year-old man was taken into custody, but it’s still unclear what led up to that shooting.