Shootings bring extra patrols to Alki Beach for holiday weekend
SEATTLE - A violent series of very public shootings hasn't kept holiday crowds away from Alki Beach, and police aren't taking any chances.
Stepped-up patrols were plainly visible heading into Friday evening. The reason is that these shooters are showing no regard for innocent bystanders, and are simply opening fire in public areas where large groups of people are gathered.
“Sometimes it just gets really crazy,” said Crystal Hernandez, who lives in the Alki neighborhood and saw the police response to a deadly shooting on Tuesday night.
“I was watching Jason Bourne, the new one, and I heard a bunch of sirens and I thought, ‘Oh it's just the movie.’ Well it kept going on for a while and I see all the cop cars."
Police said the victim in Tuesday's shooting was intentionally targeted and are investigating whether it's related to a surge in gang violence in recent weeks. Frank Lowe watched as people scattered from the gunfire.
“Just a lot of crowds and people and running and shooting,” Lowe said.
Seattle police has since positioned extra patrols at Alki to handle the larger crowds and make sure the gatherings don't flare into violence.
Overnight, two people were shot at Gas Works Park. Both victims will recover, but it's been the public nature of the crimes - in parks and on the beach - that has police ramping up their presence through the long holiday weekend.
Since the start of the year, Seattle police said there have been at least 37 shots-fired incidents, which is a 30 percent increase over this same time last year.