I saw a crowd gathered on the corner of 2nd and Washington this morning, so curiosity got the best of me and I peered around the corner to see lights flashing.
People were saying that someone had been shot, which was confirmed by a quick twitter search. Seattle Times reports:
A man was shot in the face this morning in Pioneer Square and the shooter has not been caught, according to a tweet from the Seattle Police Department just after 6 a.m.
The victim was alert and conscious, police said, and taken to Harborview Medical Center.
The shooting took place just outside of the Union Gospel Mission at the corner of 3rd and Washington. The area is roped off and police are still on sight.
EVENT: Safe Communities Meeting – West Precinct
DATE: October 18th from 7 – 9 PM
LOCATION: Belltown Community Center — 415 Bell Street
You are invited to participate in a community conversation hosted by the West Precinct regarding your safety concerns.
Per The Mayor’s Website:
The Mayor’s Office and the Seattle Police Department are working together on the Safe Communities Outreach Mission. Part of the SPD 20/20 Plan, Safe Communities seeks to ensure the City is meeting our goal of reducing crime and creating the safest possible neighborhoods. We will do that by bringing residents and officers together in living rooms, cafes, barber shops and community centers across Seattle to develop a list of priorities to address community concerns. Those priorities will then guide the actions the City, SPD, and the neighborhoods will take together to protect public safety. We are committed to building safe communities.
We’re looking forward to hearing your ideas and developing an action plan with you.
You may register by visiting: http://www.seattle.gov/safe
Kicking Off Safe Communities:http://mayormcginn.seattle.gov/kicking-off-safe-communities
Two fellow residents of recent Pioneer Square shooting victim Nicole Westbrook are organizing are candle light vigil for her this Saturday at 8pm outside of the Quintessa apartments.
Although she was a member of the neighborhood and the Quintessa apartments for only a short time, they want to bring everyone together as a community and have a moment of silence in her memory.
As posted on the SPD Blotter:
The Seattle Police Department needs the public’s help in finding the person who indiscriminately opened fire in Pioneer Square Sunday morning, seriously wounding 21-year-old Nicole Westbrook.
Westbrook and her boyfriend were walking home from a comedy club after 2 am on April 22, when a white car rolled past them on 2nd Avenue and Yesler Way. Someone in the car fired several shots out into the street, striking Westbrook in her neck. Patrol officers arrived on scene within 20 seconds and gave Westbrook CPR until medics arrived a short time later. She is currently in critical condition at Harborview.
Go to the SPD blotter to see the surveillance video and to see photos of the suspects.
If you witnessed Sunday’s shooting or have information about the vehicle or suspects involved the incident, please contact the Seattle Police Department’s violent crimes hotline at (206) 233-5000.
Pioneer Square’s community police officer, Officer Chad McLaughlin, emailed me to say that it doesn’t matter how trivial the information seems, but that if anyone has heard even rumors about what happened, that it would be useful to reach out to them.
Here is Officer McLaughlin’s info:
What needs to happen for Fortson Square to finally become a safe, welcoming place to be?
On New Year’s Day, two Pioneer Square residents were brutally attacked after confronting drug dealers blocking the entrance to their apartment building adjacent to Fortson Square (2nd Ave + Yesler). Multiple calls to police regarding the drug activity were unanswered, which, unfortunately, is understandable, given that it was New Year’s Eve and — what’s new? There’s always drug deals happening in Fortson Square.
Regardless, what happened in the square that morning, and what basically what happens every single day, is not acceptable. I live next door to where the attack happened, in an apartment building above the Chief Seattle Club (CSC) and the Lazarus Day Center. Although we have never had problems with the CSC, we routinely have problems with the men who utilize the services of the Lazarus Day Center, and the drug dealers who prey on them.
There is a Seattle PI article from three years ago that talked about the very problems caused by the Lazarus Day Center and the men who loiter on the corner of 2nd & Yesler. The sad part is that everything in that article is still true today:
He thought the brand new studio apartment a couple of floors up was a bargain for $900 a month, but it’s no longer worth dodging the drug sellers and buyers outside the front door each time he goes to walk his dog.
“It’s the same people on the same corner every day,” he said, standing inside the building’s glass entry watching drug deals made and crack pipes passed around right outside the window.
And don’t forget about the article in 2006 where Harbor Loft residents put up a banner facing Fortson Square, welcoming people to the local open-air drug market:
A group of residents is meeting with the mayor’s office this week to talk about the issues faced in Fortson Square in particular. They have also set up an internal website to share information and resources with one another and are determined to make a difference. In a letter to the Mayor by one of the residents who was attacked, he stated:
This is not how anyone should have to live and I am sick of being told it is our fault for living in a bad neighborhood! Pioneer Square could be a great neighborhood with vision, leadership and support. There are lots of great people working really hard down here to make this place a wonderful place to live and work, but I don’t think we are getting the support we need from the city. I fear for Pioneer Square as rising unemployment brings more people of need at higher risk into the missions, in a neighborhood already ripe with increasing storefront closures. We could see a larger pool of poor and underemployed people becoming victimized by the drug dealers whom act with impunity on our streets.
We know that the police get it — they’re constantly watching that corner, and even made 27 significant arrests of the most problematic drug dealers. But what more can they do? You take one off the street, and two more pop up in their place.
And now, after years and years of drug dealers on this corner, two residents were actually attacked. Is this what it takes for change to happen? What will it take for other residents to get involved? Or for the Mayor’s office to finally listen?
Due to Halloween festivities, I didn’t come home to Pioneer Square until around 8pm, at which point, huge areas on 2nd and 3rd were cordoned off with police tape, and filled with police officers and SWAT vehicles:
According to SPD Blotter:
On October 31st at approximately 5:08 p.m. the Seattle Police Communications Center received 911 calls reporting shots fired in the area of 3rd Avenue and Yesler Way. Officers on patrol were already in the area and heard the shots but were unable to determine where they came from. Officers then located a female victim in the 500 block of 3rd Avenue who had sustained a gunshot wound to the leg.
The victim, a woman in her 50′s, was transported to an area hospital for treatment of her non-life-threatening injuries.
While responding officers gathered information and searched for suspect(s) the SWAT team was called to the scene. Initial information indicated that the shots may have come from an apartment complex in the 200 block of Yesler Way. Officers surrounded the building and the SWAT team made entry.
While SWAT officers conducted their search of the building they interviewed several residents who heard the shots. The residents told officers that they believed the shots came from outside the building. One possible person of interest, a 56-year-old male, was interviewed and released. Upon completion of the building search, no suspects and no firearms were located.
The suspect(s) remain at large.
Approximately 30 minutes prior to this incident officers responded to the same area for reports of shots fired. Responding officers were unable to locate any suspects or victims and did not hear any shots while patrolling the area.
While investigating the second incident it was discovered that a bullet had been shot through a window on a building in the 400 block of 5th Avenue. Nobody was injured in that incident, nor has it been determined from where the shot was fired.
Anyone with information about any of these incidents or who may know the identities or whereabouts of the suspect(s) is asked to call 911 or Seattle Police immediately and refer to these incidents. Anonymous tips are welcome.
This remains an active and on-going investigation.
[Yes, I marked this post as "politics" and "violence"]
From the SDOT Parking Group:
Parking. Whether it’s on the street or in a garage, it’s something that many people do on a regular basis. While people certainly don’t drive for the sole purpose of parking, the act of finding a spot is inevitable. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) wants to hear about your experiences.
SDOT manages the on-street parking network – all those pay stations, meters, and related signs. Right now, they’re working on a project that outlines different strategies to make paid street parking in downtown and neighborhood business districts more available. The technical term is performance-based parking pricing. Other cities like San
Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C. are testing out new strategies too.
SDOT would like to get a better sense for business owner needs, understand the customer parking experience, and look for ways to make it better. Take a survey! You can find the survey here – it should take about 10-15 minutes to complete.
But seriously — take the time to voice your opinions on this one. With the help of a few city council members, we were able to stop the hours from going to 8pm — let’s see if we can be heard on other issues.
From the SPD Blotter
On July 12th, at approximately 8:15 PM, a physical fight occurred between two men at a mission in the 300 Block of 2nd Avenue Extension South. (Union Gospel Mission)
One of the men grabbed a knife and chased the other man out into the street. The suspect then stabbed the victim once. Officers arrived and arrested the suspect after witnesses pointed him out. The 31 year old suspect still had the knife in his possession. He was later booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Assault. The victim was treated at the scene by Seattle Fire and then transported to Harborview Medical Center for his non life-threatening injury.
Last month, the City of Seattle added crime mapping to their “My Neighborhood Map” on seattle.gov.
The “crime types” that are broken out on the map include the following;
- Crimes Against Persons
- Drugs + Vice
- Property Crime/Theft
- Miscellaneous (false alarm, disorderly conduct, treaspassing/loitering, etc)
By clicking on a symbol, you can get information on the date and time of the incident, as well as view the police report.
To read the FAQ’s on the site, such as “why are certain types of crimes not shown,” and the ever important “If a report about me is online, can it be removed,” click here.
According to the Seattle Police Department, the Pioneer Square “west” neighborhood, which includes everything west of 2nd Avenue Extension (not including my side of the street) is on par with North Lake Union (Fremont/Wallingford) in terms of “major crimes” – 630-1718 total incidents per square mile, and is generally lower than the rest of downtown Seattle, which ranges from 1736-7876 total incidents psm.
Major crimes include Murder, Rape, Assault, Robbery, Burglary, Larceny/Auto theft.
This is due to several factors:
- Occidental Mall and 1st Avenue are generally very safe public areas
- The firehouse and its associated vehicles and activity is a strong deterrent (seen as analogous to a police station)
- Higher crime sub-area begins on east side of 2nd Ave Extension (again, my side of the street) and extends into International district area at Jackson St. (from Lazarus then east up Jackson beyond 5th)
- Width of 2nd Avenue Extension — 2nd Ave is one of the widest 1-way streets in downtown Seattle- keeps people congregating on one side, and focused on east side.
But let’s take a look at how the crime stats have changed from 2008 – 2009.
Pioneer Square’s Urban Village:
Keep in mind as you check out the stats that we want to see the Dispatch numbers (calls from 911) decrease and the OnView numbers (crimes caught directly by police) to increase. Or best case scenario, all of the numbers decrease (meaning not as much crime is even being committed).
I also wish that more people would be arrested and/or harassed for loitering — I believe it’s what leads to a lot of the other crime on 2nd Ave Ext S. Because when there are people standing in groups, it’s easy to target them to sell them drugs, and it’s also easy to stand there to sell drugs and not look as conspicuous.
Or maybe Utilikilts could offer them a killer deal — even if they continue loitering in a group, there’s no way people can be as intimidated when they’ve all got skirts on (sorry guys, but I really haven’t picked on you in a while).
*A key for what is included in different crime categories is listed at the end of this post
Urban Village 5am – 8pm
|% Change 2008 - 2009||% Change 2008 - 2009|
|Traffic + Parking||+18%||-14%|
Urban Village 8pm – 5am
|% Change 2008 - 2009||% Change 2008 - 2009|
|Traffic + Parking||+110.5%||+93%|
Pioneer Square’s Stadium Area:
Stadium Area 5am – 8pm
|% Change 2008 - 2009||% Change 2008 - 2009|
|Traffic + Parking||-2%||+30%|
Stadium Area 8pm – 5am
|% Change 2008 - 2009||% Change 2008 - 2009|
|Traffic + Parking||-20.5%||+1.5%|
Violent crimes includes – Homicide, Robbery, Rape,Sex Offense, Arson, Weapons and Assault
Property crimes includes – Burglary, Theft, Shoplift, Carprowl, Auto Theft, Fraud, Alarm and Property Damage
Civility includes – Trespass, Liquor, Detox, Prostitution, Mental, Assist Public, Premise, Park Exclusion, Warrant and Suspicous Circumstances