Three women and two men were shot, at a Seattle homeless encampment last night night in what a police source said appeared to be a dispute among people who knew each other, reports the Seattle Times. Police searched for two men in connection with the shooting. Assistant Police hief Robert Merner said the shooting at the longstanding encampment didn't appear random: “We have reason to believe it was very targeted.” Two men apparently carried out the 7:15 p.m. attack at an area known as The Jungle.
“We have no reason to believe anyone else is in danger at this point,” said police Chief Kathleen O'Toole. “We have some very good leads,” and homicide detectives were interviewing several witnesses, she said. She added that officers were sent to other encampments to check on and reassure people. The shooting came as Mayor Ed Murray was about to give a televised speech in Seattle to defend what the city is doing to address pervasive homelessness, including his recent declaration of a state of emergency. “I can't help but wonder 'Did I act too late?' ” he said. “It's on me in the end.” He added: “We are involved in a homelessness crisis the like that we have not seen since the Great Depression. There is no simple answer.” City workers plan to be at the encampment today to clean up garbage and waste and offer residents social services including mental-health care and addiction treatment.