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Deadly Aurora Avenue shooting part of a 'concerning trend' in Seattle

Police said Seattle could reach a 25-year high in deadly shootings.

SEATTLE — Police said one man was shot and killed along Aurora Avenue overnight Tuesday, with Seattle on track to pass a 25-year-high in deadly shootings. 

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) was called to the 14300 block of Aurora Avenue North at about 12:15 a.m. for reports of a person shot. Officers found a 44-year-old man with fatal gunshot wounds and declared him dead at the scene. 

Another 46-year-old man was taken to Harborview Medical Center with a minor "graze wound," police said. 

Investigators are not sure if the two victims are connected or what led up to the deadly shooting.

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Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz said officers were already in the area of the shooting when they were making a domestic violence arrest. Police said the suspect fled from officers and shot at them just after 11 p.m. Monday night. While they had the suspect in custody, officers heard the gunshots from Aurora Avenue and responded to the scene. 

Police asked for anyone with information to call the violent crimes tip line at 206-233-5000.

A 'concerning trend'

It's the city's second deadly shooting since Saturday after one man was killed and another injured in Columbia City. Police investigated two other shootings over the weekend in addition to the homicide. 

Diaz said Seattle could set a 25-year high in deadly shootings.

“This is one of our highest years and we are on pace to exceed the last two years, and this has been a concerning trend," Diaz said. "We are passing our 25-year high that happened just two years ago.”

There were a recorded 53 homicides in 2020, according to the police department's crime dashboard. There were 42 in 2021. There have been 27 so far in 2022. 

There were 31 fatal shootings in 2021 and 21 in 2020, according to the department's 2021 Year-End Crime Report.

Diaz said police are doing everything they can to limit violence despite the department reporting 30-year lows in staffing. 

"We have a shared responsibility to get guns off the street and we have a shared responsibility to make sure people call 911 if they see situations escalating," Diaz said.

Diaz said the city's proposed police recruiting plan that includes hiring incentives of up to $30,000 for lateral transfers and $7,500 for new recruits will help with efforts to curb violence. 

The ordinance was passed at an Aug. 16 city council meeting. SPD estimates that implementing the measure and offering hiring incentives over the next three years will cost more than $5 million.  

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