SEATTLE – The sidewalks were packed with people on Friday in the same area where multiple Seattle Police officers were injured during a confrontation with a robbery suspect a day earlier.
After Thursday’s violence, Q13 News dug into crime trends across the city and in downtown.
“It is safe to be in downtown Seattle, there’s no doubt about it,” said James Sido, of the Downtown Seattle Association.
The neighborhood is quickly changing thanks to the city’s growing population, and it’s one that doesn’t usually see violent crime, said Sido.
“Luckily we are in an environment where violent crime is few and far between in downtown Seattle,” he said.
The association said since 2010, downtown has added more than 50,000 jobs and the number of school-aged kids living in the neighborhood has risen by 40%.
With so many new people living in the area it’s a surprise an innocent bystander wasn’t hurt.
“Seattle very much still feels like a small city even though we’re exploding in growth,” said downtown worker Ian Hutchinson. “We’re not used to this kind of violent activity this close to home.”
Hutchinson and friend Shane Logan said they were both at work during Thursday’s shooting; they were stuck in their office while police searched for suspects.
“Our security team was on it,” said Logan. “It’s like every 30-20 minutes, updates, stay put, don’t leave the building.”
“The fact this occurred two blocks away and one of the suspects ran into a building kind of gives you some pause,” said Hutchinson. “It could have been our lobby, it could have been our building.”
Despite the chaos from Thursday’s shooting, crime rates are dropping across Seattle for homicide, robbery, assault and car prowls. But in downtown Seattle, all crimes against people and property saw a spike from February into March compared to this time last year.
Sido believes adding officers on the beat could help bring the area’s crime numbers down.
“We know there’s more officers on the way from the mayor’s last recommendations, we know that’s coming so we’re heading in the right direction but we do need more officers,” he said.
Thursday’s shooting wasn’t enough to keep Hutchinson and others from coming back.
“It’s another day,” said Hutchinson. “We don’t let something like this really affect us like feeling safe or day to day safety.”
Seattle Police asked the public for cellphone video or pictures captured of Thursday’s incident by calling 206-684-5550.