Chief Rafael Padilla. FILE PHOTO

Chief Rafael Padilla. FILE PHOTO

Shooting incidents on the rise in Kent compared to last year

93 shots fired reports so far in 2020 compared to 76 all of last year

Kent Police responded to 93 shooting incidents through Oct. 13 of this year, a 43% jump compared to the same period last year.

The incidents included two homicides, 26 injuries, 24 with property damage and 41 where shell casings were found or witnesses said they knew it was gunfire but nobody was injured, said Police Chief Rafael Padilla in his Oct. 20 Public Safety report to the City Council.

Kent had 49 shooting calls at this point last year and finished the year with 76 incidents of shots fired.

“We are trending higher now, and we are worried about passing the 2017 numbers,” Padilla said. “Hopefully, that doesn’t come to fruition.”

There were 122 shots fired incidents in 2017. That dropped slightly to 105 in 2018.

The statistics are compiled by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office as part of a program started in 2016 to track shots fired incidents after several years of numerous shooting reports. Not all law enforcement agencies participated initially to report the incidents, but now most do, Padilla said.

The program also tracks the race and age of victims and suspects.

Over the last three years, 84% of the shooting victims in Kent were male and 16% were female. A total of 50% were Black, 22% white, 20% Hispanic, 6% Asian and 1% Pacific Islander. Others made up the remaining 1%. The majority of the victims were ages 18 to 24 followed by those ages 25 to 29.

In a breakdown of the shooters, 95% were male and 5% female. A total of 47% were Black, 27% Hispanic, 15% white, 6% Pacific Islander and 3% Asian. Others made up the rest of the numbers. The majority of the shooters were ages 18 to 24 followed by ages 25 to 29.

“It mirrors the demographics of the victims pretty close,” Padilla said.

As far as the locations of the shootings, 37% were at single-family homes, 29% at apartments, 18% at intersections or major roadways, 10% at retail businesses and 6% at bars or nightclubs.

Padilla said of the 804 shooting incidents in King County so far this year, 56% are outside of Seattle, with a large number of those in South King County. But Padilla said that is better than previous years as at one point the number of shooting incidents in South King County was higher than the number in the city of Seattle. Most police agencies show incidents are up this year with a few showing a decline, Padilla said.

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