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Timely Seattle police conference held after 36th shooting

The fourth fatal shooting occurred in West Seattle on May 23, 2017. (KIRO 7)

You’d think the Seattle Police Department held a gun violence briefing because of a shooting that left a 23-year-old man dead in West Seattle.

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This was the fourth fatal shooting in Seattle since the beginning of the year.

But the briefing on Wednesday was scheduled before the shooting, which shows just how bad the problem is getting.

There have been at least 36 total reported shootings in the city since the start of 2017. Those are incidents where people were actually struck by gunfire.

The number of reported shots fired is much higher; with 155 as of May 15. That is 11 more than were reported the same time in 2015 and 23 more than this time last year.

The number of non-fatal shootings between Jan. 1, 2016 to May 15, 2016, was 22; that increased to 32 during the same time period this year. Fatal shootings decreased from five to three when comparing this year to last year.

In 2017: Reports of shots fired by area, 72 were recorded in South Seattle; 27 in Southwest; 24 in East; 19 in West Seattle; 13 in North.

Representatives from the police department informed the city council that they are struggling with public cooperation. Of the 35 shootings — not including the West Seattle shooting on Tuesday — police say six victims “appear to be true innocent/unintended.”

During the briefing, a city councilmember pointed out that while police are often criticized for the arrests they make, “When it comes to gun violence, I for one have no problem with the police department being very assertive taking these people off the street and putting them in jail.”

SPD says the goal is to reduce gun violence and get chronic offenders off the street through inter-agency cooperation, and increasing public engagement and presence.

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