Interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz declared Tuesday that “people need to put down their guns,” only hours after a 39-year-old man reportedly shot dead a 24-year-old robbery suspect in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, where last year anarchists seized about six blocks declaring it an “occupied protest zone.”
The chief spoke on the morning after a couple of his officers arrested a suspect on a domestic violence-related felony warrant, according to the Seattle Police Blotter. The man is a convicted felon and police found a concealed, loaded handgun plus 110 rounds of spare ammunition in the pockets of his cargo shorts.
Seattle six years ago adopted a special tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition, and in the years since, the annual number of homicides has gone up, not down. Shootings are also on the rise.
Over the past 18 months, the department has lost nearly 300 officers, mainly in the wake of last year’s violent protests during which members of the city council supported calls to defund the police.
KOMO News published a report and posted it on their Facebook page. Comments from readers/viewers seemed to grasp the failure of Seattle gun control better than Chief Diaz.
One woman wrote about the suspect, “I wonder why he ignored the 237 pages of Federal gun control laws and the 80 pages of Washington State gun control laws? Could it be criminals do not obey laws?”
A man named Gary Young asked, “Wonder how he got that pistol – he sure didn’t buy it legally.”
To which Dustin Magnuson replied, “No he didn’t which is why removing guns from good law abiding citizens is the worst thing that could happen. All that would be left is felons like him or even myself who wouldn’t need to abide by such rules.”
Terry Leo Stevens added sarcastically, “I’m glad that the WA gun control laws are working.”
Seattle and surrounding King County have the highest number of active concealed pistol licenses in the state.
Chief Diaz said the city needs “about 1,400 officers” to provide manpower for regular patrols, and the agency doesn’t have that.
According to Diaz, there have been more than 100 shootings so far this than there were last year. Investigators have recovered more than 2,000 shell casings from crime scenes. He also said the department has confiscated some 700 guns so far this year, including 100 taken during the month of August.
The 26-year-old armed suspect arrested on the warrant was wanted in connection with assault, hit-and-run, unlawful imprisonment and property damage. He will now face the additional charge of unlawful possession of a firearm. A check with Seattle Police revealed the gun has not so far been reported stolen, but the pistol, an H&K P7, appears to have been in circulation because of its condition.
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