According to the Puyallup police, the shooting occurred Wednesday at 5:09 pm at JQ's Barbershop at 112 East Stewart Street near North Meridian Street in Puyallup, Washington.
Police said that the suspected shooter walked up to the 43-year-old barbershop owner while he was cutting an 8-year-old boy's hair, pointed the gun at "JQ" as he was known to many in the neighborhood, and shot him multiple times. JQ died at the scene.
Captain Ryan Portman said, "During the course of this there was an eight-year-old child that was seated getting a haircut. The child was not harmed. Unfortunately, the child did witness this horrific act."
Police believe that the shooting was targeted. The child's mother, another barber, and another customer were all inside the shop at the time and no one else was injured.
Officers used a police dog but were unable to locate the suspect who fled the scene. Police described the suspect as "an unknown race, male, 5'8", wearing black pants, a black jacket, and possibly a mask."
JQ was from nearby Tacoma, which is experiencing its deadliest year in decades with the highest homicide count since officials began keeping crime records in 1980.
Last month, Tacoma passed the previous records set in 1988 and 1994 with still a month left to go in 2022. There have already been six additional homicides since passing that grim milestone.
Washington already broke last year’s new record homicide rate as violent crime surges in the state. Many cities and counties have also passed their all-time homicide records.
Many law enforcement agencies across the state are grappling with a staffing crisis following the defunding movement, which was embraced by many local officials. Democrat Governor Jay Inslee’s COVID vaccine mandates for state employees, which were replicated by many counties and cities in the state, led to the termination of even more officers.
The shortage of officers has had a massive impact on response times even in the face of the rising number of murders, which are at an all-time high, and violent crime being tracked up more than 12 percent.
Additionally, Inslee signed legislation passed by the Democrats in the State House that limited police actions. Many have cited the legislation as a contributing factor in spiking crime.
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