People in Seattle’s New Holly neighborhood say the killings of two young Somali men have shaken their faith in the police and they want more to be done to protect them.
About 150 people gathered at the community center Thursday to talk to police about their safety concerns.
Seattle police Lt. Joseph Osborne told the crowd the two recent deaths in separate drive-by shootings were gang-related. But he said crime in the neighborhood is still down 25 percent from the previous year and the area is not a shooting hotspot.
The most recent victim was identified by family and friends as Zakariya Issa, who was killed last Friday. He reportedly was on the phone with his mom walking home from a prayer service for a friend killed the day before and about to go another funeral when he was shot at 44th Avenue South and South Cloverdale Street.
Muna Ali, 23, has lived in the New Holly neighborhood most of her life and knows the family of one victim.
She’s from Somalia and thinks her community needs to work together more on issues around youth violence and gangs.
“Nobody wants to say that a certain mom’s kid is in the gang,” she said. “We knew these kids from growing up, from way back in kindergarten. So it was very surprising that he was in a gang.”
Police say they added patrols in New Holly after the shootings. But Ali said more should be done to reassure residents.
“Now they’ve lost their trust in the police. They’ve lost their hope and faith in the police,” she said.
Other people at the meeting said more youth programs and more block watches were needed.
Others walked away frustrated, saying this pattern of violence and outcry keeps repeating but nothing seems to change.