I woke up this morning to a post from my 5 year old’s Parent Teacher Student Association letting parents know that there had been a fatal shooting within feet of our elementary school. I have spent the hours since wresting with the tension point between keeping my young children safe and becoming a full blown NIMBY (“not in my backyard”) rather than a humanitarian focused on communal well being.
Organized groups of people without permanent shelter are not new in Wallingford Seattle and my neighbor Gary wrote about it here on Wallyhood just a few months ago.
The 42nd and Pasadena encampment sits just under the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge. You can throw a tennis ball from it and hit John Stanford International Elementary School, serving Kindergarten through 5th grade. It’s not tennis balls, however, that have John Stanford International School parents and educators approaching the building with fear and concern each morning. There have been multiple instances of guns (including now multiple shootings), drugs, explosions, and more. Last night, a man in Wallingford was murdered — leaving sadness, frustration and fear in this community for those in the encampment, the neighborhood and the adjacent school.
The Seattle Police Blotter details how the police responded at 11pm to a 911 call stating that a man had been shot at 5th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 42nd Street. They found the 45 year old man in a dwelling under the interstate with a gunshot wound in his side and ask that anyone with information about this incident call SPD Violent Crimes Tip Line at (206) 233-5000.
If you would like to have further discussion on the encampment, please reach out to KCRHA, SPD, WSDot, the Mayor, and Alex Pedersen’s office to share your view points or learn more about theirs. I have used the following resources to engage in conversation — as a parent, neighbor, Wallingford community member and humanitarian.
- KCRHA Implementation board has a meeting on Feb 8th from 2-4pm where they accept brief public testimony. You can also leave a comment for this organization using this Comment or Assistance form.
- Talk with Alex Pedersen’s office here: [email protected] or [email protected] (206) 684-880
- Reach WSDOT via James Poling [email protected]
- Send a message to the Mayor
I heard from District 4 City Councilmember, Alex Pedersen directly with the following quote and photos seen here. He has been urging the relevant agencies to be more proactive. In his note, Councilmember Pedersen shared his experience being at the site (both sides of I-5 at NE 42nd Street) yesterday morning following the shooting and the email he sent King County Regional Homelessness Authority and to State government officials (not included here) and the statement below.
“The repeated violent crimes and fires at that encampment under the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge are unacceptable and negatively impacting