‘Too many guns on the street:’ Local agencies respond to weekend filled with violence

Jul 1, 2024, 5:17 PM | Updated: 6:02 pm

Photo: Teto’s Cantina in Seattle, where one person was shot in killed in the parking lot early Mo...

Teto’s Cantina in Seattle, where one person was shot in killed in the parking lot early Monday morning. (Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

(Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

It was a weekend filled with gun violence in the Seattle metropolitan area. There were six shootings between Saturday afternoon and Monday morning.

“This time of year is always problematic for this type of violence,” Former King County Sheriff John Urquhart told KIRO Newsradio. “You know, it’s the beginning of summer. People are out and about more. So, there’s that aspect to it.”

Eight people were shot. Two people died from their injuries.

It started in Auburn on Saturday morning. Two people were shot, including a 15-year-old who was shot in the face.

More on the Auburn shooting: 2 teens shot in Auburn weekend incident; suspects remain at large

Another person was shot in Federal Way that afternoon. On Sunday two people were shot in Tukwila. They too, are recovering.

More details in Federal Way: Federal Way police respond to man shot in leg

Also on Sunday, one person was shot and killed in Seattle’s Chinatown neighborhood.

SPD looking for suspect: Seattle detectives investigating deadly shooting

Another person died from a gunshot wound in Capitol Hill and still another person was shot in Ballard.

Further details on the Capitol Hill shooting: Shooting in Seattle’s Capitol Hill breaks out early Monday morning

“It’s not a matter of gun control,” Urquhart said. “It’s a question of getting these illegal guns from falling into the hands of people who are going to make very bad decisions, if they’re not just criminals in the first place.”

So far, police have a suspect in only one of the shootings. In the Tukwila shooting, the suspect called 911 afterward and is said to be cooperating with police.

Unfortunately, Urquhart said gun violence is an all-too-common occurrence, and there are no easy answers.

“There are 320 million people in this country and there are at least 320 million guns,” he said. “It’s mind-boggling when you think about it. There are too many guns on the street. We’ve got to figure out a way to keep kids and young people from getting their hands on guns. And gosh, I don’t have an answer to that.”

There are no easy answers, but Urquart said a clear part of the problem is the lack of police staffing to patrol streets.

“How can they take guns off the street? How can they take people off the street, if they’re too busy handling other calls,” Urquhart said.

Police departments and sheriff’s offices, which are understaffed, said adding officers and getting back to full staffing is a top priority. In the meantime, Urquhart said common sense measures would help.

“Lock your guns up. Really stiff penalties for people who are caught and do gun crimes. Really stiff. Keep them in jail awhile,” Urquhart said.

James Lynch is a reporter at KIRO Newsradio. You can read more of James’ stories here. Follow James on X, or email him here.

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