The Aug. 12 shooting of a Metro bus driver downtown proved that the seemingly diverse issues facing a large metropolitan city are interrelated. The suspect, Martin Anwar Duckworth, 31 — described as a homeless high-school dropout, with a long history of mental illness, drug use and crime, who had access to a gun — embodied all the problems that could beset the entire city.
And during an election year, no less.
The incident also sheds considerable light on the good of the city. Two uniformed police officers working off-duty jobs responded immediately to the shooting, while other emergency responders were on-scene soon after; this resulted in the incident taking only seven minutes to be contained, and no one else was injured other than the bus driver and the suspect (the suspect later died at Harborview Medical Center). Bystanders ran to help the wounded bus driver, and there is renewed vigilance among Seattleites.
Still, it’s time for the city to revisit the 2012 Center City Initiative (which the mayor continues to tout) and either move up some of the long-range plans or expand those already in motion so that we don’t encounter these “dangerous and dynamic” situations — as Assistant Police Chief Paul McDonagh described the shooting — again any time soon.[[In-content Ad]]