SEATTLE — A cross-section of the community stood behind Mayor Ed Murray Friday afternoon as he and other city leaders admonished gun violence in the wake of recent shootings that killed three and injured more, all uniting to call for change.
Murray joined SPD Chief Harry Bailey, two SPD captains, councilmember Tim Burgess and other members of the community at a press conference to update the public on the Sunday shootings in the Leschi neighborhood and a shooting on the Seattle Pacific University campus Thursday.
But along with the brief updates, the mayor and others took the time to call for a change in gun laws.
“Gun violence happens everywhere and impacts everyone,” Murray said. “We have to find a way to move forward.”
Murray said he would call a special meeting of the city council next week to address how the city could move forward on public safety measures and better curb gun violence. He also said Washington needed to take action to toughen gun laws, especially as mayors all across the state and the nation called for change.
“Gun violence is a senseless epidemic,” Murray said.
Little new updates were offered on the Sunday’s Leschi shooting that killed 23-year-old Dwone Anderson-Young and 27-year-old Ahmed Said. Little new was also offered in the Seattle University shootings where 26-year-old Aaron Ybarra allegedly walked into a campus hall and shot three, killing one.
However, SPD Capt. Chris Fowler did say Ybarra’s shotgun was purchased legally years ago.
Councilmember Tim Burgess echoed Murray’s calls for change, saying never before has he had to pick and choose between two memorial services for gun violence victims, with both the Leschi shooting memorial and an impromptu SPU memorial being held last night. He said the knowledge that there were too many memorials to attend weighed heavily on him.
“I pledge to you that the city council will work closely with (Murray) to make our city safer,” Burgess said.
SPD Chief Harry Bailey said police are working to establish motive in both cases, and will update the public as more information becomes available.
Part two of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s news conference is below