In the aftermath of a gunfire rampage in downtown Seattle that killed one woman, hospitalized six by-standers (including a 9-year-old Pt. Orchard WA boy) and wounded one of the shooting suspects, KOMO News anchor Eric Johnson bluntly and candidly addressed the on-going Seattle crime problems as we approach the one-year mark since the broadcast of the landmark news special that he and other KOMO News staff compiled, "Seattle Is Dying", to spotlight the city's problems with crime, drugs, addiction, repeat offenders and homelessness.
Last night Johnson pointed out, "Here at KOMO, we've been shouting from the mountain tops about the problems that continue to plague downtown Seattle. And we will continue to do that. So, no, a tragedy like what happened last night (Wednesday night at 3rd and Pine) is not a surprise but it is unacceptable. It should make us angry. I get the sense that a lot of people in Seattle today are angry about what happens. And maybe, just maybe this IS a watershed moment. Maybe the policy makers will realize that a hands off approach on crime doesn't really serve anybody. "
Johnson spoke at length and from the heart in the wake of this shooting that seems like it could have easily been prevented if Seattle officials were willing to be serious about prosecuting repeat offenders who show violent tendencies.
In the March 2019 "Seattle Is Dying" special, Johnson focused part of that report on the drug trafficking and transactions that are visible on 3rd Avenue between Pike and Pine for anyone who's willing to watch for a little while.
The night after the latest fatal shooting rampage in Seattle, Johnson reminded, "You can stand on that sky bridge (3rd Avenue) any day of the week, any hour of the day and look down and see drug deal after drug deal take place all day long. Maybe what happened last night will change some of that. Maybe it will shock the system (of city officials or the public). Maybe the people making the decisions will take stock in what is happening in this once glorious city. We'll see. But I'll tell you this much. I'll believe it when I see it and the people that own business here, the people that walk these streets, will believe it when they see it, too."
Johnson continued, "There is a culture of lawlessness that has gripped our city. It is not only being allowed , it is being nurtured by the policies of our city. Especially on 3rd and Pine, which is the epicenter of drug crime in Seattle."
"What happened last night, tragic as it was, is just a logical extension of really what we've been going toward systematically for some time...charges get dropped. Cases get dismissed. Hardly anybody is held accountable these days for hardly anything...Hardly anybody is doing anything to protect the citizens of our city. They're frightened."
To listen to the three different segments from the KOMO News coverage, click on the graphic above.