Courtesy Photo, Kent Police Department

Courtesy Photo, Kent Police Department

Shootings in Kent, King County increase in 2022 compared to 2021

Number of fatal, nonfatal shootings down slightly

The overall number of shootings in King County and Kent is on the rise in 2022 compared to 2021 although the number of fatal and nonfatal shootings are down slightly.

“We are still very high,” said Kent Police Chief Rafael Padilla during his Dec. 13 Public Safety Report to the City Council about the county and city numbers. “But the numbers are solidifying and hopefully on a downward trend.”

The numbers are through the third quarter of 2022 as compiled by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for its King County Firearm Violence Report.

In Kent, there has been 168 shootings through Dec. 13, Padilla said. The total was 167 for all of 2021.

“We remain historically high,” Padilla said. “The numbers are significantly higher and it’s the second year in a row they’ve remained high.”

The total number of shots fired incidents for all categories in Kent was 124 in 2017, 105 in 2018, 76 in 2019 and 117 in 2020.

Kent has had eight fatal shootings so far in 2o22 compared to 11 in 2021, Padilla said. The city has had 41 nonfatal shootings compared to 46 in 2021.

The numbers for King County follow a similar trend.

The total shootings so far in the county is 1,226 compared to 1,031 in all of 2021. The number of fatal shootings is 70 so far while 2021 had 73. The nonfatal shootings are at 256 compared to 283 in 2021.

“It’s good to see a decrease in fatal shootings and injuries,” said Padilla, who credited the hard work of first responders to keeping the fatal numbers lower.

Of the 114 shooting victims in the third quarter in the county, 86% were male; 20% were between the ages of 18-24; and 84% were people of color, according to the report. The third quarter saw another sharp increase in the number of fatal and nonfatal victims aged between 30-39 increasing from 22% in the second quarter to 34% of victims.

“The victim demographics continue the historic trend that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) are disproportionately victims of shootings,” Padilla said. “The offenders demographic mirrors that trend.”

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office collects data from more than 20 agencies. But a majority of the data comes from Seattle, Auburn, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Renton and Tukwila police departments, the King County Sheriff’s Office (including unincorporated King County and 13 contract cities, two transit agencies and the King County Airport Police).

These eight agencies account for roughly 80% of King County’s population. In Q3 2022, 55% of the total shots fired incidents and 50% of the shooting victims (both firearm homicide victims and nonfatal shooting victims) were from agencies outside of Seattle), according to the third quarter report.

Padilla said the total stats for 2022 will be released early next year after fourth quarter numbers are compiled.

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