KING COUNTY, Wash. — There were more reported shots fired and shooting victims in King County last year than any of the four previous years, according to preliminary information released Monday.
In 2021, 88 people were killed in fatal shootings, according to the 2021 Year End King County Firearm Violence Report. There were another 372 non-fatal shooting victims in 2021.
Over the course of the year, there were a total of 1,405 shots fired incidents in King County.
That is from data collected from more than 20 agencies. However, the majority of the data comes from eight agencies: Auburn, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, King County Sheriff's Office (including 16 contract cities), Renton, Seattle, and Tukwila. These agencies account for nearly 80% of King County's population.
In 2021, more than 62% of total shots fired and 59% of shooting victims were from agencies outside of Seattle. This is slightly higher than a four-year average for 2017-2020, which shows 60% of all shots fired and 58% of all shooting victims were reported from agencies outside of Seattle.
Total shots fired in 2021 was up roughly 54% and the overall number of shooting victims was up about 70% over the four-year average for 2017-2020. The number of fatal shooting victims was up 54% while non-fatal shooting victims were up 82% over the four-year average, according to the preliminary information.
The 2021 year-end report states there were 17 more fatal shooting victims and 102 more non-fatal shooting victims in 2021 when compared to 2020.
'He just kind of started screaming'
Those hundreds of shootings include one on the night of Jan.5, when so much changed for Laura Sullivan Cassidy’s nephew.
The 22-year-old everyone calls "Huckleberry Kid" was working at a cannabis shop in Shoreline.
“It was about eleven o'clock and, right before closing, two people came in,” Sullivan Cassidy said.
She says armed robbers fired shots and her nephew was hit multiple times. While his coworkers called 911, he managed to call his girlfriend, Hayley Webster.
He just kind of started screaming out to that he'd been shot. And I remember just crying on the phone to him to put someone on because he started losing consciousness,” Webster said.
He has spent time this month in surgeries and in the ICU, healing from the gunshot wounds. Family and friends have started a fundraiser to help him as he focuses on his recovery.
In 2021, most of the shooting victims were between the ages of 18 and 24, 81% were people of color. The data also shows some neighborhoods seeing more shootings than others. That has elected leaders are bringing community members together.
"We have formed working groups to address gun violence in Rainier Beach. We have some right now for Mount Baker which has seen some gun violence. We are currently forming one for Little Saigon,” said Girmay Zahilay, a King County council member.