SEATTLE — A man died from an apparent gunshot wound in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood Saturday morning, making it at least the second fatal shooting in the city in just four days.
Just before 3:30 a.m., officers were flagged down near W. Bertona Street and Gilman Avenue West by a woman who said she had found an unresponsive man in a nearby parking lot, according to the Seattle Police Department (SPD).
Medics with the Seattle Fire Department responded to provide care and found the gunshot wound on the victim, declaring the man dead at the scene.
A suspect was not located, and homicide detectives are investigating the incident. They are asking anyone with information about the incident to call the Violent Crimes Tip Line at 206-233-5000.
The other deadly shooting this week occurred on Wednesday morning in the Central District near 23rd Avenue S and South Main Street.
Officers responded to a report of gunfire in the area and located a man suffering from multiple gunshot wounds in a nearby parking lot.
The man was taken to Harborview Medical Center, but he later died from his injuries.
The two homicides come during another violent week for Seattle, which saw at least seven shooting incidents in seven days.
Throughout 2021, a year that’s seen record-breaking gun violence in Seattle and across the U.S., Acting SPD Chief Adrian Diaz has reported major staffing shortages in his department. The shortages have been mostly caused by calls to defund the department in favor of alternatives to policing, which were largely in response to protests following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the hands of police.
Seattle, along with King County, has announced millions of dollars in investments this year in alternatives to crime prevention like the Regional Peacekeepers Collective, a group of nonprofits working to curb violence in neighborhoods.
However, gun violence in Seattle has continued its record-breaking path with shootings and shots fired incidents up 35% in the city through September.
In fact, 2021 has already seen more shootings than all of 2020, including 26 fatal shootings through Sept. 30. That’s averaging more than fatal shooting every week.
After city council rejected her attempts to get more money to SPD for hiring incentives, Mayor Jenny Durkan issued an emergency order Friday, giving SPD the ability to include up to $25,000 in hiring bonuses for experienced police officers and up to a $10,000 hiring bonus for new officers.
Durkan said the move was in response to increased response times, saying the city “cannot keep waiting to address the real public safety officer hiring and retention crisis” happening right now.
SPD is currently operating on a stage three mobilization plan following the COVID-19 vaccination mandate deadline, which means all sworn personnel, including training, education and detectives must report to work in uniform and be prepared to respond to 911 calls.