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Mayor Harrell Statement on Garfield High School Shooting

Seattle – Today, Mayor Bruce Harrell released the following statement after a shooting at Garfield High School: 

This is an incredibly difficult day, made all the more so because we have been here before. Gun violence is a national epidemic, but the impacts are felt in our cities, in our neighborhoods, and in tragedies like today in our schools. 

Public safety is our core responsibility as a city. Not just as mayor, but as a father and grandfather, safety of our youth is always top of mind. My heart is with the victim, their family, our young people and the entire Garfield community – and our broader Seattle community – dealing with trauma of another act of senseless gun violence.  

Gun violence is a national epidemic, with very real impacts felt across our cities, our communities, and in tragedies like today in our schools. Every year, hundreds of children in the United States gain access to guns and use them to shoot themselves or others – creating tragedy after tragedy. Until we address the basic fact that there are too many guns on our streets, and it is too easy to get access to a gun, we will never make sustainable progress on this issue.  

Our office, the Seattle Police Department, Seattle Public Schools, and other partners such as members of our Seattle Community Safety Initiative will continue working together to address gun violence and disrupt incidents of violence. Today’s tragic events underscore the urgency of that work.  

But while Seattle continues to advance both law enforcement and community-based solutions, the current tools available to us are not enough. It is past time to reject state preemption over gun laws and give cities the freedom to set our own commonsense gun safety laws and better keep people safe.  

As a City and as a community, we must do more to protect our most vulnerable residents and especially our young people from the scourge of gun violence.  

Tomorrow is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and we had planned an event to commemorate a new memorial garden for victims of gun violence at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park. I want to invite ALL members of our community to join us as we grapple with this tragedy together.  

We also join our King County and community partners to spread awareness about the importance of secure gun storage – unloaded, locked, and separate from ammunition – and invite community members to learn more about the five Lockbox Giveaway events happening tomorrow in the Central District, Rainier Beach, Skyway, Burien and Kent.  

If you are a student, parent, or community member who has information about this crime – please call 206-233-5000. 

We can and must do better. Our young people, and all community members, deserve to be and feel safe in our city.