SEATTLE — As the year comes to a close, data from the Seattle Police Department shows the city saw a 23% increase in the number of shooting deaths in 2022.
Local nonprofits say this is an issue that can be improved by having more resources and engagement in communities where gun violence is high.
“If you have a friend or somebody that you know who has been impacted by gun violence, it increases your chances of now being impacted by that same gun violence as well,” said Eddie Purpose, the founder and executive director of Progress Pushers about gun violence among young people.
Progress Pushers is a nonprofit that aims to guide and empower young people. They are a part of the Regional Peacekeepers Collective which is group of organizations that have come together to stop gun violence in King County.
“Have a few youngsters right now that were directly impacted. They were actually shot at, or their houses were shot up, and have to get relocated,” said Merman Sallier, lead navigator with Progress Pushers, about some of the young people they assist.
More kids and families have been impacted by gun violence in Seattle this year. There were 38 shooting deaths, which is 23% more than last year. There were 151 shootings with injuries.
“I think we need more people on more boots on the ground, you know, rather than working with systems,” said Callier. “We need actual engagement, personal one on one engagement.”
According to Seattle police data, the Brighton/Dunlap neighborhood saw the highest number of shots fired this year, with 85. The International District was second, with 72 shots fired. The Northgate area was third, with 70 shots fired.
Tremayne Edwards, the engagement and development director with the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, agrees that education is key.
“Those communities that are most impacted arguably should be the most resourced, arguably should be the most educated,” said Edwards. “And being able to know these things that are happening in communities, don't have to happen in their communities.”
He said parents and gun owners need to also be responsible, so young people can’t gain access to guns.
“It takes a village to raise a child,” said Edwards. “It takes good policy, it takes good governance, and it takes good community action to make a safe community.”
Both groups believe change can be made.
“We’ve got work to do,” said Edwards. “If anything, it's shown us that there's still work that needs to be done in our communities.”
The data from Seattle police was last updated November 30.