King County gun violence rates top 2020 totals


King County gun violence rates top 2020 totals

Data collected in the first three quarters of 2021 shows more fatal shootings, shooting incidents than the previous year.

Gun violence in King County — including homicide rates and the total number of shooting incidents — has increased since 2020, according to a report from the King County prosecutor’s office.

The Shots Fired Project, developed in 2017, is a data analysis taking a public health approach to gun violence, said Casey McNerthney, director of communications for the King County prosecutor’s office.

Data is collected from 39 King County law enforcement agencies, but data comes primarily from eight agencies in Seattle, Auburn, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Renton, Tukwila, and the County Sheriff’s Office of King.

From January to September this year, there were more firearm homicides, non-fatal shooting victims and shooting incidents than in all of 2020.

There were 73 firearm homicide victims in September, compared to 69 total victims in King County in 2020. There were also 283 non-fatal shooting victims, compared to 268 non-fatal victims last year .

Overall, the first three quarters of 2021 saw 1,036 total shooting incidents. In 2020, there were 1,025 total shooting incidents.

The total number of shooting incidents in the first three quarters of 2021 increased by approximately 48%. The total number of gunshot victims is up 76% from the four-year average for the same period for 2017-2020.

The King County District Attorney’s Office also reports that the number of people killed by gun violence increased 71%, while the number of non-fatal gunshot victims increased 77% over the four-year average.

The report says there were 14 more fatal gunshot victims and 86 other non-fatal gunshot victims in 2021 compared to the same period from January to September in 2020.

Gun violence disproportionately affects young people and people of color, McNerthney said.

Of the 356 victims up to September this year, 85% were men. About 32% of the victims were between the ages of 18 and 24, and 81% of the victims were people of color. According to the report, half of the victims – fatal and non-fatal – were black or African American.

The King County Gun Violence 2021 Year-End Report, which includes data from October through December, will be available in January.


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