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Mayor Bruce Harrell Statement on Shooting of Elijah Lewis

Seattle – Today, Mayor Bruce Harrell released the following statement:

“Elijah’s death is tragic and heartbreaking. Elijah was a young, effective, and authentic advocate – part of a new generation of community leaders committed to the Central District and South Seattle. He knew the power of mentorship – dedicating his time and energy to empowering youth and helping guide them toward a better future. Even in his final moments, Elijah was protecting his young nephew and spending quality time together on the way to a monster truck rally. My heart is with his family – there is no way to prepare for such a sudden and cruel loss, and I urge our entire Seattle community to stand together in this time of grief. 

“The rate with which young Black men die due to gun violence in this country is staggering and unacceptable. That, as a society, we respond with indifference to the fact that Black Americans are 10 times more likely than white Americans to die by gun violence is unacceptable as well. Losing leaders like Elijah isn’t just hurtful and exhausting for their families and our neighbors, it represents a real step back for our communities. 

“We need to better support our youth, but we also need fewer guns on the street – Elijah recognized the importance of both. I won’t stop repeating this truth until things change: There are too many guns in our city, too many guns in this country, and too many guns in hands where they do not belong. 

“I will continue to ask the state to give cities the flexibility to set their own gun laws. We know our communities, we know gun violence is preventable, and we know action is needed to keep people safe. I implore the Legislature to advance the commonsense gun law proposals that are still on the table this session – enhanced training requirements and waiting periods, liability for the gun industry, and a ban on assault weapons.  

“The answer to disagreement and trauma is not violence. Instead, we need to support our neighbors and build our communities together, as Elijah proved in his words and in his actions. In his honor, we must continue that work and march toward progress, together.”