After a shooting earlier this month that killed two and injured another, Belltown residents and Seattle Police are concerned about neighborhood safety. On Wednesday, November 8th, the SPD shared some new strategies for fighting crime, during the Belltown Community Council’s monthly meeting.

“One of the priorities I pushed out to all my sergeants and watch commanders is that we have officers take time out of their cars to walk foot patrol in certain areas that we designated,” said Capt. Thomas Mahaffey, Captain of SPD’s West Precinct. “We have to start having officers out, engaging with the community, walking the beat, going to businesses, meeting with people.”

Some of the new steps within the strategy is for officers to stay out of their vehicles for at least 45 minutes per day. Previously, some residents and shop owners have expressed concerns about a lack of police presence, which this strategy will likely help to change.

Another change, in the attempt to address car prowls, is the posting of leaflets and signs warning people not to leave valuables in their cars and the adjustment of some officers’ work shifts to focus on crimes involving property and car prowls.

“Car prowls in particular are a significant issue for us,” Capt. Mahaffey said. “There’s a lot of parking garages, open garages in the Belltown area.”

Crime in Belltown has unfortunately been on the rise, increasing overall this year as compared with 2016 and 2015. However, these new crime-fighting strategies seem to be the right step to helping improve the safety of our neighborhood.

With regard to the November 2nd shooting, SPD is confident that it will be resolved quickly, since it was not a community-based homicide, according to Cap. Mahaffey. “We have a small amount of prolific offenders that are committing the majority of our crimes, so whether they’re involved in property crimes or potentially other crimes as well is likely,” he said.

After apprehending the suspect in a Belltown bank robbery that occurred Monday, June 19th, police investigated a suspicious device he left behind. The thief left the device in a red shopping bag near the corner of 3rd Avenue and Wall Street, near the site of the Wells Fargo bank that he attempted to rob.

SPD followed protocol and shut down several nearby streets while they investigated with robots.

The suspect was taken into custody shortly after the 4 p.m. robbery, but SPD’s investigation of the suspicious device prompted closure of several surrounding streets at rush hour. Buses had to be rerouted, and traffic through the area was delayed for nearly two hours until SPD was able to remove the suspicious device.

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There have been five shootings in just three days recently in Seattle, with the latest occurring last Friday, May 5th at about 1:40 a.m. in Belltown. Police received reports of gunfire near First Avenue and Blanchard Street, and when they arrived on the scene, they found a 27-year-old male victim with gunshot wounds to his chest and leg.

The wounds were described by medics as ‘grazing’ and the man’s injuries overall were not considered life-threatening.

Although officers received conflicting witness information about the altercation that led to the shooting, they believe it was provoked after a fight that took place in front of the Amber Nightclub in the 2200 block of First Avenue in Belltown. According to reports, the shooting victim was involved in the fight, but he ran into a nearby parking lot. He was chased by the second man involved in the fight, who then shot the victim before fleeing the scene.

“It was pretty lively out here,” said witness Nathan Harris. “I was having my last cigarette of the night, and then I heard two, three gunshots. And after that I just saw everyone running in different directions.”

SPD detectives are still working to identify and contact the suspect in this shooting.

Friday morning’s shooting in Belltown occurred within the same 24-hour period of two other shootings in Seattle (the previous two events resulted in a total of four victims). This increase in shootings has SPD ramping up patrols, but Friday’s shooting occurred less than a day after Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole announced around-the-clock patrols due to shootings.

“We are outraged by the gun violence, and neither our department nor our community will tolerate it,” O’Toole said in a statement issued Thursday.

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A man was shot at about 3 a.m. this morning (Monday, April 3rd) in Belltown, near Battery Street in the 2400 block of 1st Avenue. Witnesses heard a single shot, then reported seeing a male victim run north on 1st Avenue and two other men were seen fleeing the scene.

Seattle Police responded to the scene, and found a 40-year-old man injured with a gunshot wound to the stomach. Police performed first aid until the medics arrived and transported the man to Harborview Medical Center. The victim had life-threatening injuries from the wound.

Police continue to look for the gunman and suspect(s) connected with this shooting, since they were unable to locate the suspects after an extensive search.

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On St. Patrick’s Day 2017 (March 17th ), don your green and choose one or many ways to celebrate this year! Watch or join a step dance, learn to make soda bread, watch a Celtic movie or parade, sprint in a race, see an exhibit, attend a mass for peace, learn your genealogy or the Gaelic language. Or maybe just listen to rousing “trad” acoustic music while possibly sipping something green (Beer? Kale Smoothie?). Whether you’re descended from the Emerald Isle or not, we can all enjoy this holiday. Below are some local events and places to partake in shamrock fun, starting this coming weekend.

Variety of fun Irish events at Seattle Center. Photo:

For Starters….

Irish Flag-Raising

followed by the Irish and US national anthems

Friday, March 10th
12:20 pm
in front of the King County Administration Building (near Pioneer Square downtown)
500 4th Ave S, Seattle, WA

Landing of St. Patrick

per Irish Heritage Club site
Friday, March 10th

6pm on South Lake Union
St. Patrick was originally brought to Ireland by Irish pirates around 400 AD. Over 1600 years later, the Pirates of the Emerald Isle will deliver St. Patrick back to the Emerald City, dropping him off at South Lake Union (near MOHAI) at 6 pm Friday evening, March 10. No admission fee and kids are welcome. Climb on board at F X McRroy’s at 5 pm for the trip to South Lake Union. After welcoming St. Patrick, we’ll ride back to McRory’s by 6:30 pm for the Green Stripe Laying.

The Laying O’ the Green [Stripe]

Friday, March 10tho
7 pm
Participate in this mini-parade that lays down/marks the parade route that starts at 4th and Jefferson downtown.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Saturday, March 11th
At 12:30 pm
On 4th Ave. travelling north from Jefferson St., passing the reviewing stand at Westlake, then via the Monorail to Seattle Center Armory. Closing ceremony at the Seattle Center Armory at 2:30 pm.


Seattle Center Armory’s Irish Festival

305 Harrison Street, Seattle
More in-depth details on Irish Festival here.
March 11th and 12th:


Irish Soda Bread Cooking demonstration

March 11th and 12th
2-3 pm
This also includes demos on making other traditional foods: potato pancakes, cooking root vegetables, and Christmas/wedding cake. Samples of contest winners’ soda bread also available.


Doug Plummer Irish Photography

Seattle-based photographer’s photos of the western edge of Ireland
Antique Irish Postcards & Bartlett Engraving
collection by John and Alice Cooper, and their granddaughter Keely Cooper
Take a glimpse into Irish history through thousands of postcards, many from the late 1800s-early 1900s.  48 reproductions of an engraving pre-dating the Great Potato Famine by a few years.



1 pm “Basic Irish Genealogy”
3:00  “The Immortal Irishman” Reading and Book-signing
3:30  Children’s “Most Irish-Looking Face” Contest
4:00 “Learning the Irish Language”


1 pm “Basic Irish Genealogy”
1 pm  “Political Pressures in Irish Music
1:45 pm Children’s “Smilingest Irish Eyes” Contest


Six different documentary films that capture different aspects of Ireland are playing both March 11th and March 12th.
Seattle Center Armory Loft, Suite 2. See film summaries & times here.


Music performed by many traditional Irish musicians and dancing groups

Sat. March 11, 12 noon-6 pm
Sun. March 12, 10 am-6 pm


St. Paddy’s Day Dash

Sunday, March 12th at 8:30 am
Join 10,000+ people carrying a ribbon of green for almost 4 miles.
The run starts at T.S. McHugh’s near the Space Needle.

St. Patrick’s Day Mass for Peace

Friday, March 17th, 12 Noon
St. Patrick’s Church, 2702 Broadway E (just off Roanoke), Seattle.
For information, call 425-582- 2688 or email

St. Paddy’s Party Cruise

Friday, March 17th
Waterways Cruises and Events
Enjoy a 3-hour cruise on Lake Washington and Lake Union with a DJ, appetizers, desserts, full-service bar, trivia and prizes. All with a great view of Seattle.
$56.99, including taxes and fees

Irish Genealogy Workshop

Saturday, March 25th, all day
Luther Memorial Church
13047 Greenwood Ave. N.
Full schedule at

Seattle Gaels Field Day

Sunday, March 26th, noon to 3 pm
Magnuson Park
Try your hand at games such as Hurling, Camogie, and Gaelic Football.
For more information:


LOCAL IRISH PUBS (including some in your neighborhood) 

Call or check links for cover charges, and what’s included in it (sometimes a free t-shirt or gift card, etc.).

Blarney Stone Pub & Restaurant
1416 1st Ave. (across from Pike Place Market)
Friday, March 11th 6-9 pm- Irish Bank “The Pope’s Nose”. Contact for more St. Patrick’s Day information.

Conor Byrne’s
5140 Ballard Ave. NW (in Ballard)
Opens at noon on 3/17. Live music starts at 1:00, various bands/groups. Skillet street food all day.

FADO Irish Pub
801 1st Avenue (Downtown)
Open: 9:00 am on 3/17/ Live Music Starts at 11:00 AM to Close.  21+ only starting at 2:00 PM.

Kells Irish Festival
1916 Post Alley (near Pike Place Market)
Live Irish music begins on March 8th and runs through March 18th at Kells Irish. A tent going up in Post Alley on Thurs. March 16th, which stays up through the weekend. Dancing, traditional food on menu, and much more. A great lineup of Irish bands direct from Ireland and the Pacific Northwest.

Molly McGuire’s
610 NW 65th St (northern Ballard, near Phinney Ridge and Greenwood)
Contact for St. Paddy’s information.

The Old Pequilar
1722 NW Market St. (in Ballard)
Four live music groups/bands and Irish food from 12 noon to 2 am on St. Patrick’s Day.

Owl & Thistle
808 Post Ave. (Downtown)
Five bands playing, including a bagpipe band, starting at 1 pm on March 17th.  Open 11 am-1:30 am.

Paddy Coyne’s
2 locations: 2801 Alaskan Way, #103 (Pier 70 on Downtown waterfront) and also 700 Bellevue Way NE, Suite 100 (in Bellevue)
Traditional Irish fare always on menu, call or email for St. Paddy’s information

Shawn O’Donnell’s American Grill & Irish Pub
3 locations: Smith Tower, 508- 2nd Ave. (Pioneer Square), 3601 Fremont Ave. (in Fremont) and 122- 128th St. SE (South Everett)
Contact your location for St. Paddy’s information.

Sully’s Lounge
1625 Queen Ave. N. (in Queen Anne)
Opening at 12 pm on March 17th
(206) 283-3900
No cover charge!

T.S. McHugh’s Irish Pub
21 Mercer St (1 block from Seattle Center in Lower Queen Anne)
On March 12th , the St. Patrick’s Day Dash begins here, so T.S. McHugh’s is serving breakfast until 11:30 am that day.
Traditional Irish pub fare always on menu, but a special traditional menu also available on March 17th.  Live music all day and all night: one music group begins at noon, and the other begins around 6 pm ending around 1:00 am.  In-between music sets, there will be bagpipe music and Irish step dancers as well.

The Irish Heritage Club in Seattle is a wealth of information regarding all things Irish, including many of these events. This page, about “Irish Week 2017”, contains more information about events and activities that happen throughout the month of March. Click on the flyer on that page.

As the old Irish blessing goes, “May the road rise up to meet you, and the wind be always at your back” on St. Paddy’s Day, and always.

Photo: graymalkn /flickr. licenses by 2.0