SPD investigating Pioneer Square shooting; data shows crime rates dropping

SEATTLE – A teenager is recovering at Harborview Medical Center after police say someone shot him Sunday evening near Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood.

It’s just the latest in a string of incidents in the neighborhood that has some neighbors worried for their safety.

While Seattle police are hunting down suspects, crime rates are actually ticking downwards in the historic area.

It’s Seattle’s original neighborhood; lunch trucks are busy serving food – tourists are visiting landmarks. But less than 24 hours ago, police officers and crime tape swarmed the neighborhood around the 100 block of Cherry Street.

Around 7 p.m. Sunday, investigators said a 19-year-old man got into an argument with people inside a packed car. That’s when one of the passengers of a dark-colored smaller Toyota or Honda sedan pulled out a gun and opened fire.

The shooting left the 19-year-old with life-threatening injuries. On Monday, he was listed in serious condition at Harborview.

“It can happen anytime, anywhere. Unfortunate for sure,” said Paloma Hennessy.

Paloma and her pooch have lived in the neighborhood long enough to know it’s where they want to stay. They were out of town for Sunday’s shooting, but living so close to gunplay makes her nervous.

“It’s scary,” she said. “You hope that this area is safe and you don’t hear about a random shooting on the street very often.”

It’s happened before. Police are still hunting for Nicole Westbrook’s murderer nearly six years after she was shot and killed in Pioneer Square.

But there is good news for the neighborhood. According to the Seattle Police Department, crimes against people -- like homicide, robbery and aggravated assault -- have mostly been on the decline since 2015.

It’s downward trending data like that which keeps Paloma from considering leaving her favorite Seattle neighborhood.

“I love Seattle. It’s a great city,” she said. “I’m not going anywhere.”

A spokesperson for Alliance for Pioneer Square shared a statement with Q13 News regarding Sunday’s shooting.

“We were saddened to hear about the shooting incident on Sunday evening, and our thoughts are with the young man who is currently recovering from related injuries. Violence of any kind is unacceptable, and we continue to work closely with local police, property owners, neighborhood businesses, and residents to promote the highest degree of safety in Pioneer Square. We’ve witnessed a marked decrease in incidence of crime in recent years, and recognize that these positive strides are a reflection of a community effort to make Seattle’s urban neighborhoods welcoming and safe.”