Shooting rattles nerves, raises new questions about safety in downtown Seattle

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SEATTLE – Safety concerns in downtown Seattle were raised again after a hail of gunfire sent people scrambling for safety at about 8 p.m. Wednesday.

A man and a 16-year-old boy were shot and were being treated at Harborview Medical Center. The gunman is still on the loose.

Seattle Police said they have officers spread across downtown. Their mobile precinct was parked just around the corner Wednesday night and officers responded almost immediately after hearing the gunfire.

One of the bullets shattered the window at the Olympic Tower, and the restaurant next door was also peppered with gunshots. Employees found a smashed slug inside the restaurant.

“We, as a city, got very lucky that it wasn’t a lot worse than it was,” said the Seattle Police Department’s Patrick Michaud.

Investigators still don’t know what triggered the shooting, but it’s the third time someone has been shot in downtown Seattle in two days.

The downtown violence has many concerned. Last fall, Coulton McComb was beaten and stabbed to death in the same area.

As his alleged killer appeared in court Thursday morning to face charges, McComb's mother said she is concerned there aren’t enough police on the beat.

“Stop the violence please, save people’s lives,” said Kimberly McComb-Buehler.

Seattle police said they reevaluate officer deployments every two weeks and shuffle officers to where data suggests they are needed most.

“There might not be an officer on every street corner but within the blocks there’s going to be a lot of police activity,” said Michaud.

But some people wonder if it’s realistic to expect a bigger police presence to stop all violent crime.

Rich Knight said he’s always on high alert when he comes downtown.

“We gotta watch our backs and everybody look out for each other because it’s not a safe world that we live in anymore,” he said.

The victims from Wednesday’s shooting are still in the hospital, one of them is a 16-year-old boy.

Investigators do not yet have a description of their suspect.

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  • neighbor

    The southwest corner of 3rd and Pine is the intersection of crack and street weed. The bus tunnel entrance on the south side of Pine is basically blocked. There are many known spots with this consistent activity. I am running out of sides of the street to walk on.

  • Mike

    It’s the Gangs, your report is trying to place blame on guns not the people involved. Label the problems, if there were a legally arm person there then they could have stopped this from happening. In fact if you look at the response time from law enforcement vs armed citizens it’s like 14.3 people killed while waiting for the police vs 1.2 people killed with an armed citizen responce, which situation would you rather be in? Look it up, educate and arm all citizens.

  • saturn

    “Investigators still don’t know what triggered the shooting”

    sounds like time to hire new investigators. I can name a few reasons. one being their “mobile precinct” is more of a “mobile coffee shop” with all the officers just sitting inside not even looking out the windows at the drug dealers and homeless kids fighting each other.

  • jenni

    Blacks again. And with our open borders, just wait until the mexicans make it this far north. Police budgets need to double over the next 20 years or this will keep getting worse.

    • saturn

      racist jenni, have you ever left fife long enough to visit downtown Seattle? there are probably more white drug dealers and homeless causing problems downtown. but good luck with your xenophobia!

  • Concerned Citizen

    How bout connecting
    This crime (Marty White was older man) with:
    A) The beating/ Robbery/Stabbing death of Coulton Mccomb at Macys on 9/30/14 (John Williams drove him there)
    B) The shooting death of John Williams on 3rd& Pine on 3/19/2015
    They all knew each other & obviously someone is trying to eliminate individuals…

  • MG

    “Investigators do not yet have a description of their suspect.”

    Really? The SPD mobile precinct was literally around the corner from the site of the shooting…they were there DURING the shooting…and still no one can come up with even a description of the shooter?? Come on, Seattle. Somebody knows something and isn’t saying anything.

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