Downtown Seattle gyro shop owner says city officials ‘need to do their job’

Mar 3, 2022, 9:54 AM | Updated: Mar 4, 2022, 5:31 am
downtown Seattle, shooting, public safety...
Seattle police in downtown Seattle. (Photo courtesy of SPD Blotter)
(Photo courtesy of SPD Blotter)

Escalating crimes and recent shootings in downtown Seattle along Third Avenue prompted the owner of a local bakery to close the location on that street as she worried that her employees were not safe.

A loyal listener and owner of a nearby gyro shop in downtown Seattle, Layla Farange, told KIRO 7 TV this week that she feels like she has to worry about being shot when she goes to work, and called on Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell to come see what’s happening.

On Wednesday, Farange told KIRO Newsradio’s Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin that this is nothing new.

“This issue has been going on for a long time,” she said. “But this last week, they cleaned up Jackson and 12th, Little Saigon, and it seems like everybody moved here.”

She says most are referring to the people downtown at Fourth Avenue and Pine Street as “homeless.”

“They are gang members, they are drug dealers, and they are the people who are using drugs, going to Target, Ross, Walgreens, and stealing from those people and other small businesses and feeding their addiction,” she said.

Farange says there have been improvements under Mayor Harrell, up until the last week.

“This is a state of emergency,” she said. “I think Governor Jay Inslee and the mayor need to work together and fix it. This is not OK. Public safety right now doesn’t exist.”

As city grapples with public safety crisis, Seattle mayor targets ‘sustainable change’

Knowing the risks and that she’s losing money by staying open, some might ask: Why not close or leave?

“I love my restaurant. I love coming to Seattle every day. I love my customers — they are the nicest people. I’m losing money staying open but I love coming to work every day,” she replied. “I’m going to never lose hope. I’m going to keep hoping, everybody’s going to come back, I know for sure. But city officials, they need to do their job and clean up the street.”

Farange owns Gyros Place in downtown Seattle. She says there is a door on Third Avenue but she asks any visiting customers to use the door on Fourth Avenue.

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Downtown Seattle gyro shop owner says city officials ‘need to do their job’