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Impact to Seattle-area hospitals, community after 9 shot in 5 separate incidents

Five shootings in Renton and Seattle left one man dead and eight people injured. The impact extends to witnesses, loved ones and the community as a whole.

SEATTLE — Authorities are investigating five separate shooting incidents that left one man dead and eight others injured across Seattle and Renton Friday night. 

Seattle police say that included a shooting in South Seattle, where a 21-year-old woman and 27-year-old man were shot; a shooting near Occidental Avenue South and Edgar Martinez Drive South where a 14-year-old girl was shot in the leg; a shooting in Pioneer Square where a man was shot; and a shooting near Cal Anderson Park where a man was shot and killed. 

Renton Police say at least four teens were shot at Ron Regis Park; they are still investigating what led up to the shootings. 

Traumas to Harborview Medical Center

Five of the shooting victims were sent to Harborview Medical Center to be treated for their injuries. On Thursday, Harborview announced it would temporarily only accept emergency patients that need urgent care, citing overcrowded beds -- in part as a result of a shortage of available long-term and post-acute care facility capacity. 

"Overnight we had five patients from various incidents who had been shot- 5 of which are now critical- and it really tells us how, these types of traumatic events, or really sad events, can happen in clusters where we receive a large number of trauma patients at one time," Emergency Department Medical Director Dr. Steve Mitchell said. "For a hospital that has already been challenged with our census with the number of patients where it's been difficult to discharge from the hospital, into a post-acute care setting, [it] remains significantly challenged."

Dr. Mitchell said Harborview has been working extensively with partners at UW Medicine and regional hospitals to try to decompress the hospital census, so they can be available for these types of traumatic events. They hope conditions will change to the point that they are able to return to providing care for a wide range of needs. 

"We want to be completely available to the public and right now we're not able to be because of our mission to take care of critically ill and trauma patients," Dr. Mitchell said. 

Seeking Solutions as a Community 

A number of nonprofit organizations have been established to try to stem the tide of gun violence. Washington-based Resilient In Sustaining Empowerment (RISE) aims to support marginalized communities directly impacted by gun violence, including vulnerable children, parents and families. With a focus on intervention, prevention and restoration, they hope to target causes of violence, including generational trauma. 

"There's a host of things people are in need of, immediately, [including] the resources to be able to care for their loved ones, to be able to support them, to do home-goings and funeral arrangements, thing like that- therapy, if they have children, that's another ballgame, which is the gap we're filling with the organization," said founder and executive director Lynniah Grayson. "Really stepping in to support- through a holistic approach, that really intersects with public health."

RISE does hands-on work, such as an event in which it brought 16 kids to DEFY trampoline park in Tukwila. The kids all lost their fathers to gun violence, and are part of an eight-week program, which helps families process grief and heal; the trampoline night was about having fun.

RISE also does education and advocacy, and engages in a number of collaborations.

You can learn more about recent work by RISE and how to get involved here.

RELATED: 9 people shot in 5 separate shootings throughout King County overnight

RELATED: Problems persist at Washington hospitals due to lack of long-term care options

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