Safety concerns raised after weekend of violence at Seattle transit stations
Some riders on public transit feel unsafe after two separate acts of violence at two Seattle light rail stations over the same weekend.
“Seattle, generally speaking, is a safe city,” one rider told KIRO 7 TV. “To hear that much happening, consecutively, on something that is generally as safe as Link is, it’s terrifying.”
“My mind knows … my heart goes, ‘wait a second, do I really feel safe on this?'” he said.
On Friday, one man got into an argument with three others at Westlake Station. The confrontation led to a shooting. One person was killed and two others were injured in the shooting. The gunman is still on the loose and there is a manhunt underway. Click here to see video of the shooting suspect.
Then, on Saturday, a man stabbed another passenger on a light rail train en route to the University of Washington station around 4:30 p.m. The suspect was arrested, while the victim had minor injuries.
The Seattle Times reports that the victim is a 42-year-old man. He was stabbed while riding in a train car and exited the train at University of Washington Station, just as the UW-Hawaii football game was beginning a short distance away. Few details have been release as to what led to the stabbing. The suspect was arrested as he exited the train.
Jordan Williamson is another light rail rider. She told KIRO 7 TV that she often sees violence around public transit stations, despite a police presence.
“Almost every single time that I am down here, there are at least two officers who are here, walking around on both sides of the platform,” she said.
“It’s not unheard of to hear violence happening, or see police interacting with people,” she said. “We live in a metro area.”
After the shooting at Westlake Station, the Downtown Seattle Association released a statement addressing safety:
We are saddened that a life was lost on Friday night in the transit station. More than 80,000 riders use Westlake Station daily, and it should never be a place where someone feels unsafe. Third Avenue needs to be safe and welcoming. Far too often it falls short in that regard, and this is one of the reasons we’ve developed a vision for this important transit corridor. We commend the mayor and Seattle Police for their commitment to placing more emphasis in this part of downtown. The entire city deserves to feel safe.
MyNorthwest’s Dyer Oxley and KIRO 7 TV contributed to this article.