State lawmakers respond to deadly Seattle mass shooting

KIRO 7 went to Olympia as some lawmakers sounded off about gun violence after Wednesday's shooting downtown Seattle.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Seattle mass shooting that killed one person and wounded 7 others has state lawmakers thinking about the victims and the solution.

“Following this violence, I think the most important thing to do is focus on the families and try to find a unified approach to gun violence,” sand Governor Jay Inslee.

Republican Representative Morgan Irwin represents the Enumclaw area, he’s also 7-year veteran of the Seattle Police force.

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“When you’re on those scenes they’re tough, and they’re chaotic,” he said. “A 9-year-old boy took a round,” he noted. The wounded boy is expected to recover.

For Democratic Senator Patty Kuderer, last night’s shooting was personal. “It’s horrible, she texted me and said there was a shooting and then I couldn’t reach her for a while. Until they reconnected, Sen. Kuderer thought she was going to be one of those who lost their loved ones to gun violence.

But Rep. Irwin doubts more gun safety laws would have prevented last night’s tragedy.

‘One of the shooters was convicted of a felon in possession of a firearm in 2019. You know, he’s got multiple felony convictions, he’s 24, and he’s on the street…and that’s a frustrating cycle as an officer and a lawmaker.”

Still, Sen. Kuderer is pressing ahead with laws that would ban high-capacity magazines and assault-style weapons.

“Laws don’t prevent all tragedies that isn’t ever going to happen, but we can reduce the potential for those tragedies to occur.”

Irwin emphasized, “If we want to make a difference, we want to prevent something like this from happening, folks that prove they’re a danger to society should be kept locked up.”

Irwin is proposing that the state assume the cost of public defenders. He says that would free up millions that could be used to hire more police officers and prosecutors.