A mass shooting near a community event in Seattle Friday night left five people injured, two of whom were in critical condition, police said.
“We know that there’s dozens and dozens of rounds that were fired,” Seattle Police Department Chief Adrian Diaz told a news conference, adding that investigators were still working to establish whether “anybody was targeted.”
“We have five victims. Two are in critical condition. Three appear to be stable,” he said. He said they were taken to a nearby medical center and that one victim was treated and discharged.
All of them were in their 20s, he said. A separate post on the department's website said four of the victims were male and one was female.
Diaz said the shooter “focused their efforts on an area where there was actually a community event going on,” in the south of city.
He said that police had recovered the highest number of guns in in the city in 15 years.
“The gun violence issues that we have in our city, we’ve seen it rise and sometimes slow down at times, but right now we’ve really got to get guns off our streets,” he said.
There were 65 incidents involving shootings or reports of shots being fired in Seattle last month, compared with 60 the previous year, according to police department data.
So far year the total number of shootings and shots fired are down by 8% compared with 2022, but more shootings in 2023 resulted in fatalities, the data shows.
“Community leaders are literally putting their lives on the line to protect their own community, and that is a tragedy,” Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said at the same news conference.
“What we’re trying to build here in Seattle is these fine officers working with fine community leaders, trying to protect our babies here, trying to protect our youth,” he said
There have been 410 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit organization that tracks incidents and defines a mass shooting as a single incident in which at least four people — other than the shooter — are shot.