UW students left shaken after weekend of violence in U-District

SEATTLE — The University of Washington community is reeling after two shootings that happened over the weekend in the U-District. The shooting that happened Sunday morning around 1 a.m. put four UW students in the hospital. Paul Garces was out with his friends when he says shots rang out.

“We all heard a gunshot, and that’s when everyone began to run,” Garces said. “I began running because I obviously didn’t want to get shot, and I looked down and one of my friends says my ankle is bleeding.” The other three victims are Garces’ friends.

“Just for everyone involved it was just a big shock for us, and now we know this is a possibility on campus and, like, off campus,” he said. Two of the victims are still in the hospital.

The university president says the university has been working with the city, police and the U District Partnership “to address the root causes behind the increase in personal and property crime in the University District, and to ensure immediate responses to incidents when they occur.”

In response to this slew of violence, business owners are taking action.

“We have a lot of lights hanging. We’re going to hang more lights, try to see if we can get more cameras. We’re going to work to make it better,” Lois Ko, owner of Sweet Alchemy, said. Ko said she and others plan to start a nightlife coalition to make things safer.

“We thought this could be something that we slowly did, but no, we are going to meet this next week before this next weekend comes up just to be on the same page, just to know that safety is going to be our first priority moving forward,” she said.

KIRO 7 asked Seattle police what they plan on doing to make things safer and were told in a statement, “As far as additional patrols through the area, according to North Precinct Capt. Grossman, we have been attempting to provide emphasis patrols, but resource constraints are a constant challenge.”

There are currently no suspect leads. If you have any information, you are urged to call the Seattle police.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help pay for medical costs for the four UW students. You can donate here.