Public officials address 4 homicides in 3 days in Tacoma

Four people killed in the span of three days in Tacoma has officers and residents looking for new answers to a growing gun violence problem. 

The Tacoma Police Department said it has a crime-solving rate of more than 90%, and though suspects of violent crimes are getting caught, the solvability rate doesn’t change the fact homicide numbers are rising, with 40 deaths total in 2022. 

Three of those deaths happened on Monday alone.

The violent streak started Saturday morning with a shooting on Division Avenue. Officials said one man was seriously hurt and a second man was killed. 

Monday morning, police said two men were found shot in the head at their trailer next to Bass Pro Shop near Hosmer Street. Detectives arrested the suspect in that case hours later.

Later that night on East M Street, officers tried to save a man’s life who was shot, but firefighters said he died on the scene. 

Hosmer Street is in Sector 4 of Tacoma, a part of town that is seeing most of the homicides. City data shows there were 19 homicides from January 1 to November 13 in 2022, compared to 11 homicides during the same time in 2021.

Tacoma sees back-to-back years of record number of homicides

Monday, Tacoma reached 34 homicides for the year. It ties the record for the most the city has seen, and there is still four months left in 2022.

Officer Shelbie Boyd said she hears concerns about public safety from people across the city, especially when deadly situations occur. She said she believes in Chief Avery Moore’s plan to reduce crime, but said resolving the issues should not fall solely on the hands of police.

"There’s a variety of departments, variety of programs that all need to come together to address the issue. Find the root cause of each individual one and then determine what resources are going to help that specific crime. Because while we might find the answer to gun violence, it may not be the same answer for property crime," said Boyd. 

Mayor Victoria Woodards said violent crimes cause ripples of trauma throughout the community. She said she is confident in the work the police department is doing to catch the offenders and efforts in reducing crime.

In a written statement, Woodards further stated, "Every resident deserves to feel safe in our city, and I remain committed to actions that will make Tacoma the safest city in the world, including investing $372 million in community safety in the budget we will consider tonight and supporting Police Chief Avery Moore in advancing the Violent Crime Reduction Plan."