Seattle has seen 11 homicides in August alone, making it the deadliest month in the city since the police’s crime dashboard was established in 2008. The previous high for any single month was nine homicides, and six for any previous August.
According to police, one man was shot and killed along Aurora Avenue on August 30. At 12:15 am, police responded to the 14300 block of Aurora Avenue North and found a 44-year-old man with fatal gunshot wounds. Seattle Fire Department Medics declared the man deceased at the scene.
Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz said officers were already in the area making a domestic violence arrest. According to police, the suspect fled from officers and shot at them just after 11 pm. While they had the suspect in custody, officers heard the gunshots from Aurora Avenue and responded.
On August 27, one man was killed and another injured in the Columbia City neighborhood. Police also investigated two other shootings over that weekend. On August 26 a woman was shot and killed at a motel, also on Aurora Avenue and there still have not been any arrests in the case
Diaz also said Seattle could set a 25-year high in deadly shootings. "This is one of our highest years and we are on pace to exceed the last two years, and this has been a concerning trend. We are passing our 25-year high that happened just two years ago."
The August 30 homicide pushed Seattle past the number of homicides in 2021, and the city is on track to pass a 25-year-high in deadly shootings.
According to the Twitter account Seattle Homicide, The August 30 homicide was the 44th of 2022 in the Emerald City, surpassing the 43 homicides in 2021. The record high was 69 in 1994, and there are still four months to go in the year.
In 2019, Seattle recorded 31 homicides, a number that spiked by 61 percent the following year to 50, the highest number recorded in 26 years. The city also had over 500 shootings in 2022.
Since the Seattle Police Department was defunded by the Seattle City Council during the BLM and Antifa riots that rocked the city in 2020, hundreds of officers have fled the force and the city. Many opted for retirement, transferred, or quit in the wake of the anti-police sentiment exuded by elected officials.
The Post Millennial has learned that according to the latest numbers, 121 officers have left SPD in 2022 and the department is projecting a total loss of 183 officers by year's end.
Crime spiked and 911 response times increased and people are regularly put on hold. According to The Seattle Times, the city had a 95 increase in reports of shots fired, and a 171 percent increase in people being shot from 2021 to 2022. Additionally, Seattle’s violent crime rate, which had been steady for 30 years, jumped 20 percent in 2021.
The department lost more officers after the city imposed Covid vaccine mandates which city leaders emulated from Democrat Governor Jay Inslee’s mandate for state employees.
Since the defunding, the department has also had one public relations nightmare after another.
Cases that are supposed to be handled by the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit are not getting assigned because of staffing shortages.
In June it was revealed that the city had to void and refund over 200,000 parking tickets because officers did not have the legal authority to write them after the parking enforcement division was put under the authority of the Department of Transportation, yet another anti-police move by city leaders.
In 2021, the Democratic-controlled Washington State Legislature passed laws restricting how law enforcement responds to an incident, including a change that affects how officers pursue after a suspect who is fleeing in a vehicle.
In June, a kidnapping suspect called Seattle police during a chase and cited the law claiming that officers could not pursue him.
Making matters worse is the ongoing revolving door justice system in the city and King County that releases prolific offenders, which is not only affecting residents and the police but also other first responders. King County in 2021 recorded the highest number of homicides since they began tracking the statistic in 2006.
The Post Millennial broke the story in August that Seattle firefighters have increasingly become the "victims of violent and dangerous" attacks. Over 40 attacks and assaults on Seattle Fire Fighters have been reported since April 2022. Their union has taken their concerns directly to city officials about "the impact that this hostility is having on fire fighter safety and the critical services" they provide.
In addition to the violence Seattle fire fighters face, like SPD, they are also dangerously short-staffed. The SFD staffing crisis, which also followed vaccine mandates, is so dire that one whistleblower said, "someone is going to get killed," and is worried the city will not take action to solve the problem, even if the victim is a Seattle firefighter.
Residents seem to have grown used to the skyrocketing violence. Eduardo Ponce, owner of JE Wheels Automotive spoke to KOMO News about the homicide right outside of his store in the early hours of August 30. "It’s kind of getting normal to me now. It’s Seattle now, the new Seattle, right?"
Ponce added that he has been dealing with theft from his store and is thinking about leaving the city. "I just don’t see any future anymore out here where you’re getting taxed every corner, everywhere you go. Seven, eight different taxes, and then you got to deal with shootings, with break-ins, with drug(s)."
KOMO also spoke to Kristina Krick, an employee of a nearby coffee shop on Aurora Ave. who said she quit her job because she didn’t feel safe anymore. "You hear that the response times for pretty much any emergency services is not great and that’s because there’s always something happening and so that doesn’t help with the safety concerns."
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