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Community reacts to fatal shooting at Westlake Station

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SEATTLE -- People who live and work near the scene of a fatal shooting at Westlake Station say crime is not rare near 3rd Avenue and Pine Street, and they believe having a permanent police presence will help the area get better.

Friday around 9:20 p.m., Seattle Police say a suspect shot three people in the Westlake Station near 3rd Avenue and Pine Street.

Witnesses tell police it started as a fight that then went down into the light rail station and turned deadly.

Saturday, police released surveillance video they say shows the suspect running from the scene with a gun in his hand.

For people like Evee Jolly, she recognizes the steps in the surveillance video very well.

“I take the light rail home every night,” she said. “Had I been in the wrong place at the wrong time, like, that could have been any of us,” said Jolly.

Friday night Jolly says she worked a few blocks away from the shooting scene at her job at Pike Place Market. She says while at work, they started getting information about the shooting.

“We had to shut all of our doors. We didn’t know. We just knew there was an active shooter in the area,” she said.

Jolly says what happened Friday night is scary, but it’s not surprising.

“If it was going to happen anywhere, it is going to happen right here,” she said.

Other people who live in the area say 3rd Avenue and Pine Street has a reputation for crime.

“Third and crime, or the blade, is known as a trouble spot,” said Darran Bruce.

Bruce says he lives right above 3rd Avenue and Pine Street. He says more officers are needed in the area.

For several months, Seattle Police have focused resources in that area.

“Officers were in the area when the call came out and that’s why they were able to get there so quickly last night,” said Detective Mark Jamieson.

In a statement, the Downtown Seattle Association responded to Friday night’s violence:

“We are dismayed that a life was lost on Friday night in the transit station. More than 80,000 riders use Westlake Station daily, and it should never be a place where someone feels unsafe.Third Avenue needs to be safe and welcoming. Far too often it falls short in that regard, and this is one of the reasons we’ve developed a vision for this important transit corridor. We commend the mayor and Seattle Police for their commitment to placing more emphasis in this part of downtown. The entire city deserves to feel safe.”

Bruce says he notices the extra officers, but worries what happens if the extra resources are moved somewhere else in the city.

“The moment the police presence goes, the element comes right back,” he said.

The suspect is still on the loose.

Police ask anyone with information to contact them at 206.233.5000.

Police say the do not believe the shooting was random.

There are three victims. One is dead. One was still in critical condition Saturday night, and one has been released from the hospital.

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