Seattle police officials told the City Council that an outbreak of violence through Memorial Day weekend and since the beginning of the year has more to do with guns than with gangs, reports the Seattle Times. Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz and Assistant Chief for Operations Paul McDonagh said that while gang activity has played a role in the 20 percent jump in homicides this year, the common denominator is guns. “A person who has a gun is more likely to use a gun,” said Metz.
Police officials outlined plans to curb violence, including an increase in emphasis patrols in areas with high crime and a high number of violent incidents. They also called on community members with information about crime to contact police, even anonymously. Community outreach officers are planning meetings with the East Precinct Advisory Council in response to the shooting of Justin Ferrari, a father who was killed Thursday while running errands with his children and parents. That crime in particular, said Metz, has created a great deal of concern across the city because of “its randomness and the fact that it could have been just about anybody.”