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Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

February 21, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Two shot in Rainier Beach; deputy chief says shootings have become 'emergency'

Officers gather and talk at the site of a shooting where two people were injured near the 9400 block of Rainier Ave. S. Tuesday night. (Photo by Ellen Banner / The Seattle Times)

SPD Deputy Chief Nick Metz addressing reporters at the scene, asks for help spreading word of a "huge increase" in shootings in Seattle. (Photo by Brian M. Rosenthal / The Seattle Times)

From Staff Reporter Brian M. Rosenthal:

Two men suffered life-threatening injuries tonight in a shooting in Rainier Beach.

The shooting occurred about 8 p.m. in the parking lot of Maya’s Mexican Restaurant, 9447 Rainier Ave. S. , said Mark Jamieson, a spokesman for the Seattle Police Department.

Police are not sure how many shooters were involved or if the incident was gang-related, Jamieson said. Detectives are investigating.

The two men were taken to Harborview Medical Center.  No detailed information on their conditions was available.

In an unusual move, Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz asked to speak to reporters after Jamieson’s briefing.

Metz said he wanted the media’s help in getting the word out about a “huge increase” in shootings since Jan. 1.

Mayor Mike McGinn addressed the spike in his State of the City address earlier today.

Like McGinn, Metz called the increase in shootings an “emergency,” but he said he didn’t know its cause.

“The reality is that this isn’t a game,” he said. “It isn’t a game. People are dying.”

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Deputy Chief Nick Metz, Mayor Mike McGinn, Rainier Beach

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