Gun violence flaring in King County; More people were shot in last six months than the same period over the last four years
information from King County Prosector
The King County Prosecutors office said on Tuesday that in the first six months of 2020, more people were shot in King County than in any of the previous four years over the same time period.
“We have had a longstanding relationship with Choose 180 and Community Passageways, and we need to do more,” King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg said. “If city and county councils are looking to reinvest in the community, those are the kinds of groups that should get help because they help us stem the tides of violence. We need to invest in our communities and be able to match life coaches and mentors with young people who are heading down that wrong direction.”
Here also is a link to all murder, manslaughter and vehicular homicide charges filed this July in King County. There were nine people charged in six separate incidents (five incidents in Seattle, one in Bothell and one in Sammamish) >> https://we.tl/t-DxHeZRHkXr
Our office launched the Shots Fired project in 2017 to take a public health approach to gun violence – and through crunching the numbers and our expanding community partnerships we are working to understand which individuals and communities are at highest risk, and utilize both prevention and intervention approaches to keep King County residents safe.
We know violence is contagious – and this groundbreaking project gives community members, public health officials, and law enforcement officials the understanding necessary to know where gun violence is happening and who is most at risk – the critical is the first step to being able to break the cycle.
“We have had a longstanding relationship with Choose 180 and Community Passageways, and we need to do more,” King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg said. “If city and county councils are looking to reinvest in the community, those are the kinds of groups that should get help because they help us stem the tides of violence. We need to invest in our communities and be able to match life coaches and mentors with young people who are heading down the wrong direction.”
“We can’t just walk away from the kind of violence that we’re seeing on our streets. We need officers to respond and detectives to investigate and prosecutors to prosecute. All of those things are on the chopping block, and I am very concerned about that. My office has been asked to take an $8.8 million dollar budget cut for the next biennial budget, which is the equivalent of losing 44 deputy prosecutors. That is huge and will impact our ability to handle the cases that come to us. As we are reimagining policing – and I believe there are some areas where we have over-relied on police work – responding to violence is the number one job of police and prosecutors, and we have to maintain the capacity in order to do that.”
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is in a partnership with three community-based organizations to fund community-based violence prevention services. We are supporting Community Passageways on a program called Deep Dive that will provide wraparound social services to victims and witnesses. We are providing assistance to the community partners through referrals, and regular progress meetings.
We also secured state funding for a project focused on using our Shots Fired data to prioritize community engagement with those most at risk of firearm violence. The state funds will support a community partner in their work in the community; a liaison between our office, law enforcement, and the community; and a part-time prosecutor to focus on compiling law enforcement and prosecutor data to make sure we are working with the right population. We will be working with Choose 180 to implement this project.
While the total number of shots fired incidents so far in 2020 (424) is slightly less than the three-year average (437), the number of overall shooting victims (140) is up 21% from the three year average (115) with a 44% increase in the number of fatal shooting victims and a 16% increase in the number of non-fatal shooting victims.
Shooting victims were disproportionately young people of color. Of the 140 shooting victims from 2020 Q1-Q2, 87% were male; 42% were under the age of 25; and 73% were people of color. This is similar to the three-year average for shooting victims where 86% were male; 45% were under the age of 25; and 80% were people of color.
The pace increased in July. Through Friday, July 28, Harborview Medical Center saw 44 people with gunshot wounds, where the same period last year had 26 people. That number of 44 is up from 34 in all of June, and Harborview saw 24 people with gunshot wounds in June 2019.
Through the first half of 2020, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has filed 47 murder and manslaughter charges. Of those, 27 have firearm enhancements, which added additional prison time. In all of 2019, our office filed 57 murder and manslaughter cases, including 33 that had firearm enhancements.
Our office also has filed 25 assault cases with firearm enhancements in the first half of 2020, and an additional 13 drive-by shooting cases.