Two people were killed and three others were injured in a shooting at a Seattle homeless camp late Tuesday and police were searching for two persons of interest.
Officers found the victims in a greenbelt known locally as The Jungle. The area is located near the interchange of Interstates 5 and 90, and is known for having several homeless encampments, as well as being crime-ridden.
“This area … has been unmanageable and out of control for almost two decades,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray told a news conference late Thursday.
The identities of the victims were not known and police could not provide a description of the suspects. Seattle assistant police chief Robert Merner told a news conference that the suspects were known to authorities, but he did not give their names, citing the ongoing investigation. He added that he believed the suspects had fled the encampment.
“We have reason to believe it was very targeted as far as what happened there tonight,” Merner said.
Merner added that the victims were four women and one man and the man was one of the deceased.
Harborview Medical Center said that it had received four victims, one of whom died. Two of the other three patients were listed as being in critical condition, while the third was in serious condition.
Spokeswoman Susan Gregg said the victims ranged in age from 25 to 45 and had suffered gunshot wounds in the chest, abdomen and back.
The shooting occurred as Murray gave a major address on homelessness in the city, which he called “a crisis we have not seen since the Great Depression.”