Tacoma had a 47% increase in homicides in 2020; this year they've had three in three weeks
TACOMA - In 2020, Tacoma saw a 47% increase in homicides in comparison to the year before; so far in 2021 there have been three homicides in less than three full weeks.
On Monday night, Tacoma Police responded to two separate shooting incidents.
In total, four people were shot and one was killed. In both incidents, no arrests have been made and there is no suspect information.
"It’s disheartening, and it brings me to tears," said Candace Wesley.
Wesley is the founder of Tacoma Cease Fire, an organization created in 2019 when the city dealt with an increase in homicides.
In 2018, there were 18 homicides; in 2019, the number of homicides increased to 21.
Tacoma placed an emphasis on curbing the violence that year. Wesley and several city officials and community members marched through the streets.
However, in 2020, the same amount of attention was not placed on the issue. Wesley believes a big part of the reason was the pandemic.
"Once 2020 came in, we were prepared to go full throttle, but then we were hit with the pandemic," she said. "When the pandemic came, it came in like a flood and no one knew what to do."
Wesley says the pandemic made outreach difficult due to social distancing.
She says even if the focus was placed on other areas in 2020, the safety of the Tacoma community and lowering the number of homicides is a top priority.
"We’re fighting to live through a pandemic. We shouldn’t be fighting to save ourselves from each other," she said.
Tacoma City Mayor Victoria Woodards said the violence in the city is not something she can accept.
"I’m extremely concerned about the increase of homicides we’ve had both in 2020, and 2021. Homicides are up across the country during COVID. I recognize the effects of COVID run deep. I’ll continue to work with our new police chief, our city manager, and the rest of my council to find ways to address the uptick in homicides"
All crime data and numbers are provided by Tacoma Police.
Tacoma Police ask anyone with information regarding the two shootings during Monday night and early Tuesday morning to call 911.