Seattle police found a 15-year-old girl who had been shot in both legs in a stolen Jeep riddled with bullets early Friday, the last of three victims to be struck by gunfire in the city in a little over 24 hours.
While no one was killed in the shootings, they have added to the tally of people wounded by gunfire in what has become the bloodiest year in King County in recent memory.
A string of six apparently unrelated shootings began at 12:03 a.m. Thursday, when police responded to a parking lot in the 3900 block of South Othello Street, according to information posted on the Seattle Police Department’s online blotter.
Two men had been sitting in a parked car in the 7500 block of 40th Avenue South when a black sedan drove by and its occupants opened fire on the parked car, police say.
The men called 911 and a dispatcher directed the driver to pull over in the Safeway parking lot, where they were met by officers and Seattle Fire Department medics. One man suffered a gunshot wound to his torso and was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he underwent emergency surgery.
Around 4:30 p.m. Thursday, police responded to a report of gunfire near Garfield High School in the Central District. Witnesses reported seeing teenagers run from the scene, and a male suspect running east on East Jefferson Street.
Police found two sets of shell casings, one near a door on campus and a second set nearby, likely indicating two people had exchanged gunfire. All told, officers recovered three dozen shell casings. The gunfire didn’t result in any injuries but damaged a house and two vehicles, according to the SPD post.
Tim Robinson, a spokesperson for Seattle Public Schools, said no students were believed to have been involved in the shooting. It was not immediately clear if any students witnessed it, he said.
Because some students and staff were at Garfield High when the shooting occurred, the school launched a “shelter-in-place protocol” that lasted about 20 minutes before it was lifted at the direction of police, said Principal Tarance Hart, who sent a letter to parents about the shooting.
Hart said the school would be sharing video surveillance footage with police. On Friday, additional personnel from the district’s Safety & Security Department were on campus, he said.
Nearly four hours after that shooting, a motorist called 911 and reported being fired at by someone in a black sedan, in what police say was an apparent road-rage incident on Highway 509 near the First Avenue bridge. The motorist was not injured.
Then at 9 p.m., police responded to a report of a shooting at Third Avenue and Pike Street in downtown Seattle. When officers arrived, the victim, a 29-year-old man, was no longer at the scene. He arrived at Harborview a short time later with serious injuries, according to the SPD blotter.
Around 9:10 p.m., a passenger in a gray sedan opened fire on another motorist in Rainier Valley, police say. No one was reported injured.
At 3:30 a.m. Friday, police found the injured 15-year-old girl in the stolen Jeep in the 4200 block of South Eddy Street. The injured girl and a second teen “were evasive about the circumstances of the shooting,” police said. Officers found more than two dozen rounds had been fired at the shooting scene several blocks away, the blotter says.
Officers found a gun near the scene. Inside the Jeep they found a ski mask, a bulletproof vest and a large stack of cash with an apparent bullet hole through it, according to the blotter.
Anyone with information about the shootings can call SPD’s violent crimes tip line, 206-233-5000.
Meanwhile, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that one of two teenagers shot outside Southcenter Mall in Tukwila last week has died, though the girl’s identity has not yet been released.
Before she died, the girl had been in critical condition in the ICU at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center since the Nov. 24 shooting, a hospital spokesperson said last week.
The teenager’s death is the 14th homicide from gun violence in King County since the beginning of October, according to a Seattle Times database compiled with information from police, prosecutors and the medical examiner.
Those 14 deaths are in addition to the 73 gun-related homicides reported by the King County Prosecutor’s Shots Fired Project for the first three-quarters of 2021, which saw another 283 people injured in shootings from January through September.
With four more weeks left in the year, 2021 has already proven to be bloodier than all of 2020, when 69 people died and 268 people were wounded in gun violence across King County, according to the Shots Fired data.
Seattle Times reporters Christine Clarridge and Daisy Zavala contributed to this story.