Mayor Durkan announces $2 million investment as gun violence peaks in King County

Firearm violence in King County rose exponentially in 2020 and has not stopped in 2021, according to a report released by the prosecuting attorney's office.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office on Thursday released its "Shots Fired" report — a collection of data analysis showing reported shootings in King County.

In just the first six months of 2021, the number of fatal shooting victims was up 48% while nonfatal shooting victims was up 65% over a four-year average for the same period between 2017-2020, according to the report.

The data shows how certain demographics are disproportionately impacted by firearm violence compared to others. Eighty percent of shooting victims were people of color while nearly half of all victims were Black or African American, and 85% of the shooting victims were men and 36% are between the ages of 18-24.

"We are in a public health crisis, we are in a public safety crisis in those communities where gun violence is highly concentrated," said King County Prosecuting Attorney, Dan Satterberg. "We collect this data with the understanding that we can share it with not just law enforcement but with the community at large and also with people who are interested in working with young people who are at risk of being involved in gun violence."

See the full report below:

In light of the recent rise of gun violence in King County, Mayor Durkan announced that Seattle will invest $2 million over two years in the King County Regional Peacekeepers Collective program to address the current crisis. 

"We know that violence is the result of many failed systems and societal disparities. And because, in many instances, the government for decades shirked responsibility, we are called on at this moment to invest in resources to right the wrongs created by those failed systems," said Mayor Durkan. 

"That’s why this investment in the Regional Peacekeepers Collective is so important. They offer a comprehensive and truly collaborative approach routed in and supported by community"

The investment will allow for increased staffing and support systems for young individuals who are particularly at risk of becoming perpetrators or victims of gun violence. Some of these provided resources include family support specialists, comprehensive training and technical assistance. 

CEO of Community Passageways, Dominique Davis, expressed the relief in seeing Mayor Durkan support the regional effort to address the ongoing violence, "This is an opportunity for us to serve the youth and young adults who are deeply involved in this pandemic of violence at a higher level. I see the regional approach moving us in the right direction to getting closer to solving these issues of violence That have been perpetuated by lack of resources."