On Wednesday afternoon, a suspect opened fire on the sidewalk near the area of the Third Ave and Pine Street intersection. There was a lot of foot traffic in the area, due to the fact that the incident happened around the time people are leaving work. Initial reports say that one person was killed and seven others were injured by the end of the shooting.
Seattle has had to deal with multiple incidents of gun violence in just a few days. A day earlier, a 55 year old man was found with severe wounds from bullets in a stairwell. This previous shooting happened just a couple of streets away from where Wednesday’s incident took place.
Many witnesses were in the area at the time of the shooting, which happened right outside of a transportation station and a McDonald’s that are busy during rush hour. One man described hearing gunfire and seeing people hit the ground. He said he immediately tried to help as people were running away from the chaos.
A local police chief said the shooting likely occurred because of an argument near the McDonald’s. They believe there could have been more than one person firing at the time, and they are investigating the possibility of multiple suspects. Initial reports cannot confirm if anyone injured was involved in the argument or if they were innocent bystanders. Police have not arrested anyone yet, and they are open to changing the narrative regarding what took place as they interview witnesses and collect surveillance footage from the area. As of now they can only confirm that the area was crowded, shots were fired, and people started to flee the area rapidly.
Nearby Harborview Medical Center took in a middle aged woman in critical condition and a 9 year old male who was initially in serious condition, but his health improved with medical treatment. The same hospital treated four other men with injuries from gunshot wounds who were able to be released at night. The only fatality seems to be a 40 year old woman who was shot right outside of the McDonald’s. Witnesses said her body was seen underneath a sheet at the scene following arrival by police and rescue crews. All of the victims were located within about a block of where the shooting took place, suggesting that the violence was confined to a small area.
Witnesses inside a large retail space and coffee shop nearby also recounted the mayhem. A coffee shop employee saw two men who said they had taken bullets lying on the ground nearby. Police had to tape off the entire block, and many witnesses were visibly shocked in the moments following the incident.
The Seattle mayor and the governor of Washington state both urged local people to contact the police if they have any information about the incident or identifying the shooters.
Incidents that result in multiple injuries and death
Shooters who shoot or kill several people will face serious consequences, which usually include life imprisonment or the death penalty in some states. Other mass shootings have even been considered acts of terrorism by the United States government. When the suspects are identified local prosecutors will file multiple felony counts against them for these crimes.