Seattle area sees record gun violence in 2021
Data from 2021 shows a spike in homicides and shootings in the Seattle area last year, with 88 fatal shootings and 372 people wounded by gunfire in the county where the Pacific Northwest city is located.
In 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, King County had reported a record-breaking 69 firearm-involved homicides and 268 shooting injuries, according to data from the Shots Fired report provided by the King County Prosecutor’s Office.
Shootings were also up nationwide in 2021, with 1,405 shots-fired incidents in 2021 compared to 1,025 in 2020 and 858 in 2019, the report said.
The report also added that 62 percent of shootings in King County in 2021 took place outside of Seattle city limits, up from the four-year average of 60 percent from 2017 through 2020.
The data from the Shots Fired Project comes from 20 police departments in King County, accounting for about 79 percent of the county’s total population.
Of the 460 total gunshot victims last year, 85 percent were male, and 81 percent were people of color. Twenty-eight percent were young adults between the ages of 18 and 24, the report noted.
This month, major U.S. cities have seen an increase in violent crime.
A police officer was shot in Washington, D.C., and two other officers were fatally shot in New York City, where people have also recently been pushed in front of subway trains. In Chicago, gun violence has continued to plague the city, with 22 people being shot over one weekend earlier this month.
While experts say that overall crime rates were mostly stable in 2021 after a significant increase in 2020, gun crime has increased, garnering the White House’s attention.
“The president is never going to be satisfied or complacent when officers are being gunned down or when Americans have to worry about whether they can safely ride the subway or bus or even be at work,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this month.
“We’ve seen a surge in crime … especially gun violence over the last two years. And the president has been aggressive in using the tools at our disposal to combat that,” she added.
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