Seattle Police Chief: Fatal shooting in downtown Seattle ‘unacceptable’

Jan 23, 2020, 2:14 PM
Seattle Police Chief Best...
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best. (KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best called the Wednesday night shooting that left one person dead and seven others injured “unacceptable.”

Seattle council: Fatal downtown shooting ‘cannot become new normal’

“As a police department, we must work together to not allow something like this to ever happen again,” Best said.

Best also announced that police have arrested one of three total suspects in the shooting, that occurred as part of a dispute in the downtown core of the city.

The suspect arrested was also one of the gunshot victims, and was apprehended by gang unit detectives at Harborview Medical Center shortly after the incident. The other two suspects are Marquise Latrelle Tolbert (age 24, 6’1″ 200 pounds) and William Ray Tolliver (age 24, 6’0″ 145 pounds). Both remain at large, and are considered armed and dangerous. SPD is encouraging anyone who sees them or knows where they are to immediately call 911.

Arrest records reveal both are documented gang members with extensive criminal histories. Tolliver has previously been arrested at least 44 times with 20 convictions, for offenses including unlawful possession of a firearm, theft, malicious mischief, and assault. Tolbert has been arrested 21 times with 15 convictions, including robbery, possession of a stolen vehicle, discharging a firearm in a public place, theft, and harassment.

Witnesses describe ‘chaotic’ scene of downtown Seattle shooting

Addressing the shooting in a Thursday press conference, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan pushed for the continued support of diversionary programs as a means to address the city’s growing problem with repeat criminal offenders, and to “end this violence on both ends” of the justice system.

She went on to emphasize the need for measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

“We need a call to action on gun violence across America and in Seattle,” she stated. “Gun violence anywhere is unacceptable, and it is especially jarring when it occurs in the heart of our city.”

Seattle police have also deployed a mobile precinct on 4th Avenue near Westlake Center, and will soon have another one set up at the King County Courthouse. Chief Best also stated that the department will be rotating officers from other areas into downtown to ramp up efforts to curb crime in the area.

“It’s all hands on deck to keep all of Seattle safe,” Best said.

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Seattle Police Chief: Fatal shooting in downtown Seattle ‘unacceptable’