One of three suspects has been arrested and booked into jail after the shooting Wednesday in downtown Seattle that killed a woman and injured seven other people, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said Thursday.
At a news conference, Durkan expressed condolences to the people injured in the gunfire at the busy intersection of Third Avenue and Pine Street, including a 9-year-old boy, and to the loved ones of the woman who died.
“No one in our city or country should step out of a coffee shop or get on a bus with fear of violence,” she said at the Seattle Police Department’s West Precinct.
The woman who died, as well another woman injured, were long-term residents of Plymouth Housing, a prominent homeless services and housing provider, the organization confirmed Thursday.
“As part of our permanent supportive housing model, our buildings become close-knit communities; these women were like family to many,” a statement from the organization said. “Our hearts go out to the families, friends, and neighbors of all the victims. We are providing support to our staff, residents, and community partners during this very difficult time.”
Police continued to search Thursday for two suspects — Marquise Latrelle Tolbert and William Ray Tolliver, both 24. The three suspects are believed to have been involved in a dispute outside the McDonald’s on Third that resulted in gunfire, according to Police Chief Carmen Best. Three guns were fired, Best said.
Best said the 21-year-old man arrested had been injured in the shooting and was located by police at Harborview Medical Center. Police recognized him in surveillance video, and saw that he had a gun though he was not legally allowed to possess one. He was booked on suspicion of unlawful possession of a firearm.
“Know that Chief Best and I, and the entire city of Seattle are working to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Durkan said.
The mayor said the police department will deploy a mobile precinct near where the shooting occurred in an effort to address violence.
At Thursday’s news conference, Durkan also focused on the need to get guns out of the hands of criminals.
“If this had been a fistfight, eight people would not have ended up at the hospital,” Durkan said.
Four of the seven people injured had been treated and released from Harborview as of Wednesday afternoon, officials said. Those who remained hospitalized were recovering: A woman in her 50s who initially had been in critical condition and the 9-year-old boy, who was initially in serious condition, had been upgraded, according to the hospitals. A 32-year-old man was in satisfactory condition.
Two of the people injured were Amazon employees, the company confirmed. They had been outside the company’s BlueShift offices, at the Macy’s building at Third and Pine, when they were shot. The company said it’s increasing security around the building and offering security escorts between offices and to and from public transportation.
The mayor was out of town Wednesday, in Washington, D.C. at the annual United States Conference of Mayors, when the shooting occurred. She cut her trip short and returned on a plane Thursday morning, a spokeswoman said.
“Every resident and every business in our city expects Chief Best, our criminal justice system and me, our mayor, to be accountable, to keep people safe,” Durkan said. “That is our job and it is one of the most important and fundamental jobs we have.”
The shooting during Wednesday’s evening commute was the third in downtown Seattle in a little more than 24 hours. It came just a day after a man was fatally shot about a block away, at Westlake Center, and a couple of hours after police shot a man during a narcotics operation in Belltown.
Violence has erupted many times before in the blocks around Third and Pine, where shoppers, commuters and tourists converge, bus routes intersect and open-air drug dealing has long been commonplace.
Local authorities have repeatedly sought to tamp down criminal activity along a gritty downtown stretch that some call “The Blade” by boosting patrols, carrying out mass arrests and moving bus stops. But such initiatives, launched every couple years by a series of Seattle mayors, haven’t yielded permanent changes.