SEATTLE — Police added extra patrols in downtown Seattle after a woman was killed and seven other people were injured in a shooting Wednesday evening. A 9-year-old boy is among the injured.
Seattle police said they identified two suspects Thursday morning.
The shooting happened around 5 p.m., and police said it does not appear to be random. The violence apparently stemmed from a fight outside McDonald’s near Third Avenue and Pine Street, a busy corridor in downtown Seattle near Westlake Park.
“Witnesses told investigators that two or more male suspects were in a disturbance and began shooting at each other. They fled the scene immediately following the shooting,” Seattle police said in a report.
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said the public can expect to see police officers near 3rd Avenue and Pine Street until further notice.
One woman died at the scene and five other people were taken to Harborview Medical Center. Two men arrived at the hospital in their own transport.
Of the seven shooting victims treated at Harborview, a 9-year-old boy was listed in satisfactory condition, a 32-year-old man was in satisfactory condition, and a 55-year-old woman was in serious condition early Thursday morning. Four men, ages 21, 34, 35, and 49, were treated and released, according to hospital officials.
Seattle police are reviewing surveillance videos from nearby businesses and are searching for the suspects involved. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting Seattle police with the investigation.
“I extend my support, and that of our City, to the victims and their families,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a statement. “I also want to express my profound gratitude to our first responders who worked quickly to help those who needed it. The men and women of the Seattle Police Department and the Seattle Fire Department work every day to keep our city safe. I am also grateful to our partners at the King County Sheriff’s Office for their support during this incident.”
A bullet hole was found in a King County Metro bus near the scene, but it’s unclear if the bus was in service at the time of the shooting.
A witness told KING 5 she was in a coffee shop nearby when she heard a flurry of gunfire.
“Everyone just went to the ground, and as we were looking out the windows, people were running,” said Alex Bennett.
Bennett is a former nurse and rushed to help one of the victims.
“I was helping the guy who had been shot in the leg and texting his wife for him and trying to keep him calm,” explained Bennett.
She said police responded and put a tourniquet on the man’s leg and he was taken to the hospital for treatment.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life,” she said.
Another witness who was heading to the Link light rail station also heard the gunfire and said he ran into the light rail station to get help from police officers there.
“I just saw terror on people’s faces, they were all running,” said Douglas Converse. “It was chaos.”
Link light rail service to Westlake and University District was suspended while police responded to the area, but service has since resumed.
This shooting occurred shortly after Seattle police responded to an officer-involved shooting at 3rd Avenue and Blanchard Street in Belltown around 3 p.m. The suspect in that shooting was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries and no officers were hurt.
Chief Best said the two shootings do not appear to be related, but the crimes do have people who live and work in that area on edge.
The Downtown Seattle Association released a statement Wednesday in response to the downtown shooting saying in part “enough is enough.”
“Our hearts go out to the victims of tonight’s shooting in downtown Seattle and we commend the Seattle Police and Fire Departments for their swift response to this tragedy. Criminal activity around Third and Pine has been persistent for far too long and too often has led to violence and innocent lives lost. The heart of our city should feel safe and welcoming for all who live, work and visit here. We call on public officials to devote the resources necessary to improve safety in downtown and take back Third Avenue from the criminals who have laid claim to it. On behalf of residents, small business owners, employers and visitors, we say enough is enough.”
Just the day before, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, a man was found shot in the stairwell to Westlake Center. He later died from his injuries. No suspects were arrested in that shooting.
Chief Best reiterated Wednesday night investigators do not believe that any of these shootings are related.