Seattle police expands emphasis patrols in Belltown amid rising violence in downtown

SEATTLE — With violence in downtown Seattle getting worse, the Seattle Police Department is expanding its emphasis patrols to Belltown.

“Crime has been pretty tough, and it’s been increasing, so the area just being downtown is nice, but the crime makes it tough,” said Philip Zaragoza, who lives in Belltown.

Zaragoza says he’s lived in Belltown for two years, but recently it’s changed.

“It’s definitely dangerous, you know, especially how close it is to where I live, so I’m pretty worried about that,” said Zaragoza.

Two shootings recently happened near Third Avenue and Bell Street.

A man was shot in the leg on Thursday, and just before 4:30 Monday morning Seattle police say they found a 37-year-old man with multiple gunshot wounds. He later died at the hospital.

“Well, it’s not the first time that’s happened, so even though it’s worrisome, it’s just more of the same,” said Michael Ohl, who lives in Phinney Ridge.

Police say the two incidents are unrelated and are still looking for the suspects in both cases.

The recent violence has pushed SPD to expand police presence from 3rd Avenue and Pine Street to Yesler Way and Bell Street.

“I think that might deter some violent activity, but I don’t think it would prevent it in the middle of the night. I don’t think that it will prevent anyone from making the choices they make,” said Brooke Sorensen, who lives in Belltown.