SEATTLE — Two shootings in Seattle in just a two-week period have left several innocent bystanders injured.
Five people were injured when a man opened fire near a bus stop in downtown Seattle on Nov. 9. The suspect was later identified, but has yet to be arrested.
In the latest incident, on Monday in South Seattle, police say a bullet grazed a man’s head. The victim, in his 30s, was in his car during the shooting. Police say people in two separate cars opened fire on each other and the man was caught in the crossfire. The shooting happened around 1:45 p.m. Monday near 51 st Avenue and Creston.
Harborview Medical Center says the man in Monday’s shooting is in serious condition.
It’s too early in the investigation for detectives to know whether the shootout was gang-related. But some in the community suspect gangs, drugs or both.
Kianna Timmons says her children were standing in the same area where the innocent man was struck.
“We were out there crossing the street, I kid you not -- a couple minutes before that,” Timmons said.
Seconds after Timmons and her children got home, they heard the gunshots.
Some residents say police are not doing enough to curb the violence
“There`s a lot of violence that goes on over here but when it comes to the gang-related affiliation of things, they wait until it gets bad before they decide to do anything,” neighbor Supina Ford said.
“The police are not responsible for all the ills of the city and police are not responsible when we have bad public policy,” Pat Murakami of the South Seattle Crime Prevention Council said.
Murakami says police can’t be everywhere, especially with little resources, worsened by a hiring freeze in 2010.
“We should have never frozen police hiring because of the lead time it takes a police officer to get out on the street."
On the same day of that shooting, another one happened about 30 minutes later on Rainier and McClellan where again people in two separate cars opened fire at each other. Police say it doesn’t appear the same suspects were involved.
“It’s usually related to drug transaction gone bad, it is impacting public safety,” Murakami said.
Murakami believes the local drug epidemic is getting worse because of the homeless crisis. She says many addicted to drugs are moving to Washington. She says not all homeless people are on drugs but she says most who refuse service are addicted to drugs.
“We have a huge client base for the drug dealers, if you have no opportunities to sell drugs then the gangs will go elsewhere to sell drugs wont they,” Murakami said.
Timmons just wants the shooters caught as her children played across from a crime scene tape.
“Bullets don`t have names, it could have been one of my kids,” Timmons said.
Police do not have a descriptions of the suspects. They also do not have a clear enough description enough on the vehicles. If you have any information about any of the shootings call Seattle Police.