Rainier Valley shootings prompt neighbors to take action

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Seattle police are still investigating what led up to a shooting that killed a young man in the Rainier Valley Saturday night.

Officers responded after shots rang out in the 9200 block of Waters Avenue South. The man died at the hospital.

“I heard pang, pang, pang, pang; I was lying down asleep and then I wake up and I saw my girlfriend run out and see, and I saw the guy lying down,” said neighbor Maria Lee.

While Lee heard the shots that killed a man near Rainier Avenue South Saturday night, it’s Billy Hanson who saw him and rushed to help.

“A few other people came and started helping me,” said Hanson. “The other guy applied pressure on the wound from there he gave a gasp, and I began CPR until the police showed up.”

Learning the man died, Hanson came to pay his respects at a growing memorial at the scene. South Seattle Crime Prevention Council President Pat Murakami says is a reminder of the violence taking over the neighborhood. 

“It’s discouraging to say the least,” said Murakami. “This has been going on for years, and for years we’ve been saying there are too few officers in the South Precinct.”

Saturday’s deadly shooting is the second one along Rainier Avenue South in a matter of days. Thursday, someone crashed a car into a business near Genesee after witnesses heard shots fired. Murakami will lead a community meeting this week to address the issues. She believes if it isn’t addressed soon, the violence will eventually spread through the whole city.

“Don’t be afraid to give up some of your resources to address the problems down here, because if you don’t our problems will spill into your neighborhoods,” said Murakami.

The community meeting will be held Wednesday at the Southeast Senior Center. Organizers said Seattle Police will be there to hear their concerns. They are also discussing different things neighbors can do to protect themselves and each other.