Data courtesy of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office

Data courtesy of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office

King County gun violence rates exceed 2020 totals

Data collected from first three quarters of 2021 shows more fatal shootings, shots fired incidents than previous year.

Gun violence in King County — including homicide rates and total shots fired incidents — has increased since 2020, according to a report from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’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 Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

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

From January through September this year, there have been more firearm homicides, non-fatal shooting victims and shots fired incidents than all of 2020.

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

Overall, the first three quarters of 2021 have seen 1,036 total shots fired incidents. In 2020, there were 1,025 total shots fired incidents.

The total number of shots fired incidents in the first three quarters of 2021 was up around 48%. The total number of shooting victims is up 76% over the four-year average of this same time frame for 2017-2020.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office also reports the number of people who died by gun violence is up 71% while the number of non-fatal shooting victims is up 77% over the four-year average.

The report states there have been 14 more fatal shooting victims and 86 more non-fatal shooting victims in 2021 as compared to the same time January through September period in 2020.

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

Of the 356 victims through September this year, 85% were male victims. About 32% of victims were between the ages of 18-24, and 81% of the victims were people of color. Half of the victims — both fatal and non-fatal — were Black or African American, according to the report.

The 2021 year end Shots Fired report for gun violence in King County, which includes data from October through December, will be available in January.


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