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Seattle murder rate slows after deadly surge early in year

Despite a deadly start to the year, Seattle has seen just four murders since a wave of killings that culminated with the Cafe Racer massacre in May. (AP Photo/File)

In the first part of 2012, Seattle was on pace to double the amount of homicides from all of 2011, but since the Cafe Racer shooting in May, the city’s murder rate has drastically slowed down.

In the first five months of this year, there were 22 homicides in Seattle, one more than all of last year. Since Ian Stawicki killed four people and then himself on May 30, there have only been four additional killings.

Those 26 homicides are on pace with the average over the past 10 years for the city, The Seattle Times reports. The city’s deadliest year over the past decade was 2003 with 32 homicides. The lowest number was 19 in 2010.

The deadliest year on record was in 1994, when 69 people were murdered.

Seattle Police say of the 26 people murdered in 2012, all but three were killed with guns.

Eight of the cases remain unsolved, including the shooting of 25-year-old sailor Gregory Anderson, shot and killed Feb. 5 outside of a nightclub on First Avenue South. He was there celebrating with friends his promotion with other sailors from the USS Nimitz. As well as the random drive-by shooting of Nicole Westbrook, a 21-year-old culinary student who had just moved to Seattle and was shot while walking in Pioneer Square on April 22.

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