Two people were killed and three others were wounded in a shooting at a homeless camp in Seattle called “The Jungle,” Seattle Police say.
Police said the deceased victims, who have not been identified, are a man and a woman. The three wounded victims are wounded.
No suspects are in custody, but police said they have two persons of interest in the shooting. They were not identified.
The shooting on Airport Way South was reported at 7:15 p.m., police said.
“Officers began searching a greenbelt in the area–sometimes colloquially referred to as ‘The Jungle’–and found the five victims,” police said in a statement. “Police are actively searching the woods for the suspect or suspects and piecing together information about the incident.”
This is still a developing story, so check back for updates. Here’s what we know so far:
1. The Scene Remains Active & Reporters Were Told the Area Is Not Safe
According to KIRO-TV reporter Gary Horcher, police told reporters at the scene that there was an active shooter and they should leave because the scene is not saafe.
The shooting occurred near a tent in the camp.
Photos taken by Horcher showed emergency responders rushing a victim into an ambulance.
2. Victims Were Taken to a Local Hospital
According to KIRO-TV reporter Maria Guerrero, at least some of the victims were taken to the Harborview Medical Center. Several detectives were at the scene.
The victims, whose ages are between 25 and 45, were taken to the hospital, hospital officials told KIRO.
Two of the victims are in critical condition and undergoing surgery at the hospital. The third wounded victim is in critical, but more stable, condition, police said.
3. ‘The Jungle’ Is a Homeless Camp Near Downtown Seattle
“The Jungle” is a homeless camp located in the greenbelt on the slop of Beacon Hill near downtown Seattle, according to a Seattle Times report.
The area has been occupied by homeless people for several years and is known as a high-crime area.
In 2012, Seattle Police wrote a press release about a check-in officers did on the camp.
“Every day, thousands of people drive past the greenbelt—which sits on a Washington State Department of Transportation property along Interstate 5, stretching all the way up the South Precinct—or pass through it on the newly opened Mountain to Sound Trail, which rolls along Beacon Hill’s west slope. But the greenbelt’s forest canopy also serves as a shield from the elements for the many homeless men and women who live in encampments tucked into the wooded hillside. That same canopy, unfortunately, also provides cover for drug dealers and other criminals,” police said.
4. Police Have Shut Down Roads Near the Shooting Scene
The Seattle Department of Transportation says on Twitter that roads in the area of the shooting have been shut down.
Airport Way South is closed between South Royal Brougham Way and South Holgate Street. Residents were told to avoid the area while Seattle Police “handle” the “incident scene.”
5. Seattle’s Mayor Was Holding a Special Address on Homelessness as the Shooting Occurred
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray was holding a special address on homelessness in Seattle at 7:30 p.m., around the same time of the shooting, according to The Seattle Channel.
“I believe we can make progress…We can put aside the polarizing rhetoric & outdated thinking. We can come together to find common ground,” Murray said during the speech, according to his Twitter account. “I believe Seattle can do this- by listening, by challenging each other, by collaborating, & above all, by respecting those who are suffering.”
After the speech, Murray briefly addressed the shooting, telling reporters, “It is an active scene. Police are at the location right now. … The scene is an active crime scene, at this point we don’t know if it is safe, we urge people to please stay away from it until we can get you more information.”
Seattle is set to spend about $50 million to address homelessness in the city, KING-TV reported.
“If we simply put them in shelter it doesn’t work,” said Murray. “We need to get them in shelter and out of a shelter. We need to get them mental health services, we need to get them treatment.”