SEATTLE — Seattle police responded to reports of an illegal street racing event early Sunday morning, they were met with a crowd who interfered with the response.
Four people were shot during the event, according to police.
The Seattle Police Department said officers responded to reports of a large crowd gathering and vehicles driving recklessly at the intersection of Broadway and East Pike Street around 1:30 a.m. Sunday.
“When we say that we met resistance. I think that leaves a lot to the imagination. I think when you actually see the video and you see the defiance and the aggression towards police officers and the willingness to jump on top of hoods of police cars and jump up and down and throw metal items. It gives the viewer the opportunity to see exactly what police officers are facing out here,” said Deputy Chief Eric Barton, Seattle Police Department.
Seattle police needed additional resources to safely break up the scene, but said to avoid further conflict for reckless driving and destruction of property call it decided to back away.
“The decision was made to not move in with those additional resources officers stood by in the area to make sure that folks were safe to the extent possible,” Deputy Chief Barton said.
SPD said the crowd was upwards of 500 people. The call came in at a time when more people were in the area following the Capitol Hill Block party and officers were already stretched thin assigned other major events.
“A perfect storm of events that prevented us from getting in there and holding those particular street racers accountable for that illegal activity,” Deputy Chief Barton said.
SPD said the crowd died down, and two and half hours later, a call for a shooting where four people were hurt and during an interview with SPD, KING 5 learned one ultimately died.
Just before 4 a.m., officers heard gunfire and found two victims at the intersection. One of the victims, a man in his late 20s, was treated at the scene. The second victim, a woman in her 20-30s suffered life-threatening injuries and is in critical condition. Both were transported to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.
A third victim made contact with police officers several blocks away but did not remain at the scene, according to police. She later arrived at the hospital for treatment. A fourth victim, with non-life-threatening injuries, also later arrived at the hospital for treatment.
“The proper decision was made to standby and then when the violence did occur, and the shootings did happen, we did make entry into that area immediately without hesitation and try to give aid to the victims and investigate that shooting,” Barton said.
SPD is looking for the suspects that pulled the trigger, plus the street racers, and those responsible for obstructing police response. No suspects have been identified at this time.
Seattle police ask anyone with information to call the SPD Violent Crimes Tip Line at (206) 233-5000.
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