Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said on Monday that “enough is enough” after violence erupted within Seattle’s “Capitol Hill Organized Protest” (CHOP) early Monday, leaving one teenager dead and another critically wounded.
“It’s very unfortunate that we have yet another murder in this area identified as the CHOP. Two African American men dead at a place where they claim to be working for Black Lives Matter, but they’re gone. They’re dead now,” Best said at a Monday press conference on the fatal shooting.
“And we’ve had multiple other incidents — assaults, rape, robbery, and shootings,” she continued. “And so you know this is something that’s going to need to change. We’re asking that people remove themselves from this area for the safety of the people.”
Violence shook Seattle’s “autonomous” zone again early Monday morning, as police responded to reports of shots fired into a Jeep. Authorities found the vehicle “riddled with bullet holes” in the CHOP area.
“Two injured individuals, presumably the occupants of the Jeep, were transported by private vehicle from the CHOP area. One victim was taken to a meeting point with Seattle Fire Department personnel, who then transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center. The other victim was taken to Harborview by private vehicle,” the SPD Blotter reported.
One of the victims, a 16-year-old male, was pronounced dead at the hospital. The other victim, a 14-year-old, remains in critical condition.
There are no suspects in custody, but the investigation remains active and ongoing.
“It is abundantly clear to our detectives [that] people had been in and out of the car after the shooting,” Best told reporters. “Detectives have been trying to get information from witnesses, but as has been the case in other crime scenes in this area, people are not being cooperative for our requests for help.”
Best added that they are trying to figure out “how we’re going to get back into this area [CHOP],” which was effectively abandoned by police — something that occurred after, Best said, the city “relinquished to severe public pressure.”
“I can tell you that I think enough is enough,” Best told reporters.”I can tell you this as an African American woman with uncles and brothers and stuff, I wouldn’t want them to be in this area.”
“We’ve had two men killed and we have a child that’s injured from gunfire,” she added. “So this is a real problem, and I would question, you know, why we would continue to allow this to happen.”
While she said she supports peaceful protests, she stressed that people “can’t hostilely take over a neighborhood and cause the crime levels to go up like this.”
“Two men are dead. Two men are dead, and a child — a 14-year-old — is hospitalized, and we don’t know what is going to happen to that kid,” she said. “Enough is enough here.”
Monday night’s fatal shooting marked the fourth shooting in or near the CHOP zone within the last two weeks, resulting in two fatalities.