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Shoppers on edge after shootings in last 2 years at Southcenter near Thanksgiving holiday

Southcenter Tukwila

TUKWILA, Wash. — The busy holiday shopping season is upon us and shoppers tell KIRO 7 they have concerns about their safety at Tukwila’s Southcenter Mall.

“My 11-year-old, one time we pulled out of here, he saw two gunmen in ski masks robbing somebody in a car,” Pher Turner said.

He said unfortunately crime in the area has become normal.

“We were there for like 10 minutes and I was like we gotta get out of here, it feels weird,” he said.

Another shopper, Mark, told KIRO 7 that he feels the same way.

“It’s gotten worse, getting many more shootings and stuff like that,” Mark said.

He’s referring to two deadly shootings that have happened at Southcenter in just the last two years.

On Thanksgiving Day of 2021, Jashawna Hollingsworth was gunned down outside of JC Penny. In 2022, Chris Wesolowicz was shot and killed when he tried to stop carjackers in the parking garage on the Friday before Thanksgiving.

“Unfortunately in this day and age, it’s getting to be more commonplace,” Mark said.

All of these incidents and concerns raise questions about the safety of the mall.

KIRO 7 reached out to the security company for the mall and was told all questions should be directed to Southcenter Mall. The mall sent us the following statement:

“The safety and security of our customers, retailers and employees is our primary concern. At Westfield Southcenter, we have a comprehensive security plan including uniformed police and security personnel, foot and vehicle patrols, and robust CCTV monitoring. Most importantly, we also work closely and constantly with local law enforcement to keep our center safe. We have partnered with the Tukwila Police Department to establish a highly visible base of operations for on-duty police officers working from Westfield Southcenter’s Community Resource Center. Additionally, we are always reviewing our safety and security strategy to make appropriate updates when there is increased traffic to the center, such as during the holiday season or for events.”

We also reached out to Tukwila police but have not heard back.