One person arrested during gang violence investigation

Seattle police arrested one person and took more than half a dozen guns out of circulation while investigating gang-related shootings in South Seattle and the Central District.

Investigators believe the guns and ammunition they confiscated were intended for gang use.  The investigation, in collaboration with the FBI and ATF, is still going on, and investigators have not said specifically which shooting the arrest is connected with.

Two shootings happened in Seattle’s Central District within the past two weeks.  On the night of May 3rd, police say two groups started shooting at a gas station near Garfield Community Center.  A woman caught in the crossfire was injured.  She managed to drive away, and flag down an ambulance for help a few blocks later.  She’s expected to survive, and Seattle police say they have now arrested one suspect related to that shooting.

Just one week later, on May 10th, gunfire erupted in a neighborhood on East Union Street just after 3:00 in the afternoon.  Swedish Medical Center officials say five people showed up in a car moments later – and two of them took off running.  Three others had been shot, and one of them was dead.  Family members identified him as 19-year-old Royale Lexing.

So far investigators have not identified any suspects in the May 10th shooting.

The violence comes as Seattle police are teaming up with other city departments for emphasis patrols in seven neighborhoods.  The Central District is not on that list, but Sergeant Sean Whitcomb says the department already had extra patrols in the area, as part of a separate emphasis program.

“The Seattle Police Department is very concerned about gun violence,” Whitcomb explained after the May 10th shooting. “[SPD] has been, and will continue to do gun violence emphasis with our gang unit, in this neighborhood and other neighborhoods affected by gun violence.”

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