A mass shooting near a community event in Seattle on Friday night left five people injured, two of them in critical condition, police said.
“We know there are dozens and dozens of shots that were fired,” Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz told a news conference, adding that investigators were still working to determine if “anyone was targeted.”
“We have five victims. Two are in critical condition. Three appear to be stable,” he said. He added that they were taken to a nearby medical center and one victim was treated and discharged.
All were in their 20s, he said. A separate posting on the department’s website said four of the victims were male and one was female.
Diaz said the shooter “focused their efforts on an area where there was actually a community event going on,” in the south part of the city.
He added that police in the city had found the highest number of weapons in 15 years.
“The issues with gun violence that we have in our city, we’ve seen it increase and sometimes slow down at times, but right now we really need to get guns off our streets,” he said.
There were 65 incidents involving shootings or reports of shots fired in Seattle last month, compared to 60 the year before, according to police data.
Although the total number of shootings and shots fired so far this year is down 8% compared to 2022, more shootings this year involved fatal injuries, the data show.
“Community leaders are literally putting their lives on the line to protect their own community, and that’s a tragedy,” Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said at the same news conference.
“What we’re trying to build here in Seattle is these fine officers working with good community leaders, trying to protect our babies here, trying to protect our youth,” he added.
There have been 410 mass shootings in the United States in 2023, according to Gun Violence Archivea nonprofit organization that tracks incidents and defines a mass shooting as a single incident in which at least four people — other than the shooter — are shot.