1 of 3 suspects in fatal downtown Seattle shooting arrested: 'This was gang activity'
Police are still searching for two other suspects believed to be involved in Wednesday night's shooting, which left one dead and seven others injured.
Much of the Seattle community remains on edge. Others say there's no need for panic.
Walking past the McDonald’s on the corner of Third Avenue and Pine Street Thursday morning, you wouldn’t necessarily know it was the scene of a fatal shooting less than 24 hours before.
A man who identified himself to KUOW as Sal G. said the block, where he spends a considerable amount of time, was a lot quieter than usual. But he painted a much different picture of what the corner was like Wednesday night as bullets rained down, killing one and injuring seven others, including a 9-year-old boy.
Sal, while sitting in McDonald’s Thursday morning, recalled hearing dozens of rapid gunshots — perhaps the kind generated by an automatic weapon.
“It sounds a lot faster than it does when you hear it on TV,” he said. “The bullets are right behind each other, you know — just instant.”
Sal said he knew at least five of the eight people who were shot — some personally, others casually. He described speaking to one of the victims as they lay injured on the sidewalk.
“He said, ‘Am I gonna make it?’ and I said, ‘You shouldn't be thinking about that right now, the ambulance is on its way. Just close your eyes and relax.”
Although saddened by the previous night’s events, Sal didn’t appear particularly rattled. He said he was neither surprised the shooting happened nor worried there could be more violence.
“I’m from New York where there were shootings everyday,” Sal said. “They’re making a big deal out of a once-a-year incident.
“I mean, it's sad — it's very sad anytime somebody loses their life over bullshit gang violence,” he continued, adding that he understood the shooting to be the result of an interpersonal conflict. “But I know being surrounded by it my whole life -- you live by the sword, you die by the sword.”
Across the street at TobacCorner, store clerk Mohammad had a different view of things.
“We need a permanent solution,” he said. “People were very scared yesterday.”
Hussein said staff at TobacCorner let bystanders take shelter in the store as the shooting occurred. He also expressed concerns that criminal activity at Third and Pine often goes unchecked, and that the area can feel unsafe after a certain time in the evening.
1 of 3 suspects arrested
Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Thursday afternoon that one of three suspects implicated in the shooting was arrested. During the same press conference, Durkan addressed criticisms of the Seattle Police Department’s presence downtown and public safety concerns related to Third and Pine.
“Fifty-thousand or more people travel that corridor everyday,” she said. “This incident is something we don’t want to allow but it does not define who we are.”
Durkan also called attention to the complexities of policing different types of crimes.
“You’ve got both narcotics activity, which requires a certain type of response … this was gang activity, which requires deployment of different resources and different intelligence,” Durkan said. “And then we’ve had other public safety impacts related to behavioral health issues. All of those things are mixing together in the downtown corridor, but we’ve had strategies to deal with each of them to keep our city safe.”