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Students, organizations and Seattle leaders react to U District weekend violence

Four UW students were injured in a shooting Sunday morning, and a 21-year-old was hit and killed by a driver fleeing a shooting.

SEATTLE — University of Washington students are speaking out after five people were injured in two violent incidents near campus over the weekend.

“We’ve been here for three days, three days and this has happened,” said UW freshman Maya Schollum.

It was the first weekend out for many University of Washington students like freshmen Kate Balm, Maya Schollum and Sydney Bash. 

Around 1 a.m. Sunday morning, they received an alert on their phones. 

“It said UW alert Seattle and then in parenthesis, it says shooting. It says shooting reported at business near Northeast 43rd Street and U Way NE at 1:05 a.m. Avoid area,” said Bash.

A 21-year-old man was hit and killed Saturday morning on Brooklyn Avenue by a car fleeing gunshots. University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce confirmed the man who died was not affiliated with the university.

Four University of Washington students were shot Sunday morning on University Way Northeast outside of a bar. 

“I wrapped it around his leg because he was bleeding so much. I tried to help. I didn’t know what to do, I’ve never been in this situation,” said Ivan Avila, who witnessed the shooting.

Avila described the chaotic scene to KING 5. 

“I mean it looks like he’s safe," Avila said. "I hope he makes it through.”

Three 20-year-old men and a 19-year-old woman were shot and sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

“Two in two nights. That was a little shaky too,” said Bash. 

Now these UW freshmen say they’re questioning whether they should go out at night. 

“Like again, this is part of our campus. Like this is part of the reason we came here,” said Schollum.

“It kind of became a tale of two weekends where you have incredible opportunities to experience the neighborhood but also real sadness,” said Don Blakeney, executive director of the U District Partnership.

The U District Partnership had its Food Walk that brought tens of thousands to the area. Blakeney said it was a successful celebration of its 150 restaurants.

“There were so many different things that happened in one weekend. We have to unpack it so we don’t have a blanket, quick response that doesn’t really address the issues. It’s not going to come together in a few days, it’s going to take a lot of work,” said Blakeney.

Seattle City Councilmember Alex Pedersen visited each scene over the weekend, saying in a statement that the "recent surge in gun violence requires a boost in crime prevention efforts from multiple agencies so that we can increase public safety here and throughout Seattle."

Students say just days into the school year, they want a response from UW.

KING 5 reached out to the university and was sent this response saying in part: "We’ve been working with the city, Seattle police and the U District Partnership to address the root causes behind the increase in personal and property crime in the University District, and to ensure immediate responses to incidents when they occur."

“It is our college experience; we want to be out but it is a little disappointing that this is happening,” said Balm.

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