Shooting outside Seattle daycare sends children, staff ducking for cover

There were approximately 24 kids inside the A 4 Apple Learning Center at the time of the shooting.

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
On Monday, a man was shot outside a Seattle daycare and dozens of kids had to crawl to safety after gunfire erupted.

There were approximately 24 kids inside the A 4 Apple Learning Center at the time of the shooting.

According to KOMO News, no children were injured in the shooting off 23rd and Jackson but medics took a 47-year-old man to the hospital in serious condition who had been shot multiple times. The man has not yet been identified.

The school’s co-owner Deborah Coleman told the outlet, “We’re just here to do our job and do good quality care for our families, and then this is what we have to deal with.”

Co-owner Appollonia Washington added, “I just immediately said, ‘You guys, army crawl! Teachers, Army crawl! I think we’ve been shot.”

Though a bullet came through one of the daycare’s windows, thankfully none of the children or teachers were injured. Washington told KOMO that the kids had previously practiced what to do in case of an emergency such as a shooting. “They were crawling to the bathroom on their stomachs, just in case of an emergency. Just army crawl, and they did that. They hid behind a wall in the bathroom.”

According to the outlet, investigators were marking evidence at the scene such as bullet casings when parents came to pick up their children.

As of publishing, Seattle Police are unclear about what led to the shootout and if the daycare was a target.

Washington told KOMO, “I don’t ever want to experience this again. Can we get patrols? Can we get officers walking by?”

She continued, “We’re known out in the community for serving the community, but I need the support of protection so my families and my staff, and we can feel ok walking these streets every day.”

SPD told the outlet that they would add extra patrols in the area. However, that will be yet another drain on an already depleted force as The department has lost so many officers that it has dropped to staffing levels not seen since 1991, amid spiking crime.

In a statement in response to the shooting, a spokesperson with the mayor's office told KOMO that Mayor Harrell “believes every community deserves to feel safe and be safe, and this shooting is both scary and tragic for impacted residents and our broader Seattle community.”

The statement continued, “After inheriting a historic SPD staffing low, Mayor Harrell has made it a priority to drive meaningful improvements in both officer recruitment and retention efforts to keep and attract applicants who share the values of the city and reflect the diversity of its communities.”

“Mayor Harrell's budget proposal makes critical investments in reducing gun violence, which requires a holistic approach including thorough investigations, community-based programs, new technologies, and upstream solutions. Mayor Harrell will continue to pursue policy changes to reduce gun violence at the state legislative level, as the City is prohibited from setting our gun laws due to state preemption.”

Yet, despite hiring incentives, the mass exodus of officers has continued since the City Council began defunding the department in 2020 in response to the BLM and Antifa riots that rocked Seattle in 2020. Nearly 600 officers have fled the department.

Additionally, Harrell’s promised officer/recruitment plan has yet to get off the ground.

According to Seattle Police Officer Guild president Mike Solan, Seattle has seen more homicides than hired officers. Earlier this year, Seattle blew past 2022’s total number of homicides, which increased 7 percent in the first half of 2023, and is on track to surpass city’s the all-time high of homicides. 
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