SEATTLE - An alarming new report confirms what we've seen and reported, a big spike in crime in our state in 2020.
The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs released their report after tracking crime and arrest data from more than 230 state, county, municipal and tribal agencies. The biggest takeaway from this report and the most unsettling data is the murder rate.
Last year, 302 Washingtonians were murdered. That number up nearly 50% from 2019. Many of the cases still unsolved. The data shows most of the victims were men, most killed by a gun. Often at their own homes. The increase in murders is jarring, highlighting how many lives have been destroyed.
"When you see that data come out and you know that your child is a part of that graph, you still think how is this possible?" It’s been a little over a year since Alicia Dassa lost her son 18-year-old Conner.
"The person who shot Conner on Mother's Day, that to me takes a special kind of malice, especially in front of our house, where we had to see our son after he'd been shot in the face. It takes a special kind of malice to do that," says Alicia.
Conner’s case is one of the 46% of Washington murders in 2020 that haven’t been resolved. In his case and a majority of cases statewide. The relationship between him and his killer is a mystery.
"It's easy to look at graphs, it's hard to look at people’s faces. If they had faces of every family and every person that was affected on those graphs would it change anything?" said Alicia.
Every victim has a story. In Conner’s case, life was going exceptionally well. He’d been accepted to 19 universities before settling on UW.
"He was a football captain, he was a vice president, he was the track coach for the youth at Rainier Beach track, he was a suicide prevention counselor."
Alicia still has the flowers he gave to her that Mother's Day, hours before she held him for the last time.
"So many other parents get a phone call or a knock on the door to say that their child is gone, and we got to be with him and tell him that we loved him and tell him that we were there, and that we love him, and I know he wasn't scared," she said. "Not everybody gets that, so we were lucky."
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