Seattle ties record for homicides set in the 1990s
The city of Seattle has tied its previous record for the most homicides in a single year, and it likely will establish a new homicide record by the end of 2023.
Seattle set a record in 1994 with 69 homicides. That is currently the number of homicides the city has recorded for 2023, with a month and a half left in the year.
Seattle police confirmed the figure to KUOW on Thursday.
In September, KUOW reported that Seattle had hit 57 homicides so far in the year, marking the second-highest number of homicides on record and making 2023 the city's bloodiest year in recent memory.
That statistic is based on information from the Washington Association of Sheriff's and Police Chiefs, which has tracked crime data in the state since 1980.
In a previous interview with KUOW, Callie Craighead, a spokesperson for Mayor Bruce Harrell, called the spike in homicides "tragic, abhorrent, and unacceptable."
"Public safety is a core charter responsibility, and Mayor Harrell believes that every person in our city deserves to be and feel safe," Craighead said.
The increase in homicides and violent crime is not limited to Seattle. From 2019-22, Washington state saw a 96% rise in homicides. In 2022 alone, there was a statewide 8.9% increase in violent crimes.
Seattle hit a 15-year high in violent crimes (homicide, rape, robbery, and assault) in 2022. That same year, homicides rose by 24% over the precious year, totaling 52. There were 53 homicides in 2020.
According to SPD's 2022 crime report, the department investigated a total of 60 homicides that year, but 52 met criteria for the FBI's definition for criminal homicide.