The number of homicides in Seattle has skyrocketed, as compared to the last year, but interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz says it’s not easy to compare 2020 with 2019.
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“As we all know, 2020 was a year like no other,” he said. “We know, both because of COVID and other events, that the number of 911 calls dropped throughout most of the year. Due to the pandemic, we all changed our behaviors. Stores closed. People stopped going to their places of work. Bars and restaurants were severely restricted.”
“So telling you that certain reported crimes are up or down compared to 2019, I believe has less meaning this year than any other,” he added.
Chief Diaz noted that across the country, most major cities reported significant increases in homicides and shots fired. In Seattle, Diaz says 2020 ended with 50 people who were willfully murdered, compared to 31 killed in 2019.
“That represents a 61% increase, or 19 additional people who were murdered this year,” he said. “This was the highest number of murders in 26 years. This is unacceptable. We cannot tolerate this level of violence.”
Diaz says homicide detectives also investigated two delayed deaths resulting from injuries sustained in 2015. They also investigated the recovery of bodies on Alki, who were individuals killed outside of Seattle.
Diaz said Monday that 60% of 2020 homicides were committed with a gun, compared to 66% in 2019.
“Most of the victims are males between

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