Seattle Surpasses Record Homicide Rate in 2023 in 44 Years

Seattle has surpassed its previous record for homicides, marking a concerning rise in violent crime. In 2023, the city recorded its 70th homicide, exceeding the past record of 69 homicides set in 1994, according to data from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs dating back to 1979.

The 70th victim succumbed to injuries from a stabbing incident in June. Seattle Police responded to the assault on June 26, detaining the suspect near the crime scene. Initially charged with second-degree assault, the charges against the suspect remain unchanged as of the latest reports.

This increase in homicides is part of a broader trend in Seattle, with a notable rise in such incidents since 2019:

  • 2019: 28 homicides
  • 2020: 52 homicides
  • 2021: 42 homicides
  • 2022: 52 homicides

This surge mirrors statewide trends, with Washington reporting 394 murders in 2022, surpassing the previous record of 325 in 2021. This marks an approximate 17% increase in one year. The state’s previous peak in murders was in 1994, with 297 cases. Despite the new records, the murder rate of 1994 was higher when adjusted for population growth.

Lou Nightingale
Author: Lou Nightingale

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