Seattle police officers fatally shot an armed man Tuesday night, ending parking lot shooting incident that left one woman dead and another seriously wounded, but in the aftermath, according to KCPQ News, the Seattle Fox affiliate, local activists are “planning to protest the officers’ use of force.”
According to KIRO News, the CBS affiliate in Seattle, the slain gunman was identified by acquaintances. Images provided by Seattle police show he was armed with a Springfield .45-caliber M1911-type semi-auto pistol fitted with an aftermarket 10-round magazine. Police and parking lot video show the suspect carrying the pistol in his right hand through the parking lot. He walked up to a car in which responding officers subsequently found the two shooting victims, both women.
The SPD video also includes audio of the 911 call for help from one of the two women, declaring, “My friend is dying. She got shot in the face. Please come, please come.”
Seattle has become a hotbed of anti-police activism since last spring’s protest-turned-riot following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis. Calls for defunding the police department came from protesters and at least one member of the Seattle City Council, and over the past several months, the department has lost scores of officers, many of whom have taken jobs with other agencies.
As noted in the KCPQ report, “The shooting happened near The Northwest African American Museum, where messages supporting Black lives and a denouncement of police violence echo last year’s demonstrations for law enforcement reform.”
According to the Seattle Police Blotter, a caller notified 911 about shot fired in the area of the fatal confrontation.
“Additional callers reported seeing a man firing a gun in the same area,” the narrative said. “When officers arrived on scene they heard multiple gunshots. The suspect walked towards the officers, raised his firearm and fired at them. Officers returned fire, striking the suspect.”
While some of the responding police tried to provide aid to the suspect, others “searched the area for victims of the suspect. The two victims were found in a vehicle parked in the parking lot…”
Audio from the police body cam reveals officers telling the gunman to drop his gun. Instead, he can be clearly seen raising the muzzle toward the officers, at which point police opened fire.
While published reports suggests there will be protests against police use of force, there is no indication of any similar concern about the two women who were shot.
This was the latest violent incident in the Jet City, where last year’s revenue from the tax on firearms and ammunition spiked sharply to $184,836, according to the city’s License & Tax division. In 2019, the city collected only $85,352, so the increase reflects a high volume of gun and ammunition sales last year, possibly spurred by the sometimes violent protests of summer and fall in Seattle and other major cities around the country.
When the gun tax was originally adopted in 2015, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said revenue would never reach the level predicted by proponents of the gun control tax. Former Seattle Councilman Tim Burgess promoted the tax, predicting it could bring in between $300,000 and $500,000 annually. It has never gotten close, and in the meantime, homicides have shot upward. In 2016, the first full year the tax was in effect, Seattle logged 18 slayings. Last year, the tally was 52, according to SPD data.
The tax was supposed to raise funds to help deter so-called “gun violence.” The Tuesday shooting incident suggests the effort has been a monumental failure.