New partnership formed to curb Central District violence

SEATTLE -- The sound of gunfire drew Ellen Larkins out to the street, where she and her husband saw a man bleeding on the ground. Larkins got down on her knees, held the victim's hand, and tried to help.

"He just looked at me, and he took two breaths, and I said don't go. Don't go," Larkins said.

The man died in front of her, leaving Larkins traumatized. She's since joined Rev. Harriett Walden and others to call for a community response to all the violence.

"We owe it to the children to step up and say we can do better," Walden said "We owe it to the children to stop the violence."

Seattle police are investigating three deadly shootings in the Central District in just the past two weeks. Investigators say a familiar problem is keeping them from solving these crimes.

"There were a lot of individuals at all three of the shootings that we're talking of, and the issues are that no one is coming forward," said Capt. Pierre Davis, the commander of Seattle's East Precinct.

Davis welcomes Walden's efforts to end the silence and come up with some creative solutions to stop the bloodshed. Walden says one idea she's hoping gains support is to install surveillance cameras at crime hot spots. She says her hope is to cut down on crime so the cameras can eventually be removed.

In the meantime, Capt. Davis has ordered increased patrols for problem areas. He also stands with Walden in urging people to be more involved with the youth of our community.

"We will get down to exactly what the problems area," Davis said. "But I'm going to tell you, it's going to take the community to get us out."