Commuting Past a Crime Scene

Welcome to the overnight news cycle.

I worked too late last night, couldn't sleep, and came back to work too early this morning. What made my back-and-forth commute notable was pedaling my bike last night along Elliott Ave. at around 11 o'clock through a throng of teenagers who were overflowing into the street, not exactly making way for traffic. (To be fair, there basically was no traffic, but still.) All of them were young and black, predominantly male, and there was clearly some kind of party being held in a ground-level loft space in what's sometimes called the Northwest Industrial Buildings. Great, we all love a party. Nothing wrong with that.

I pedaled past without an unkind word or look. Still, I'd never seen a comparable gathering in that canyon-like stretch of Elliott (right across the street from The Seattle P-I, in fact). And it didn't seem like prom season or the time of spring graduation parties. There are occasionally small crowds for gallery and wine-tasting events, or people walking to the Olympic Sculpture Park. The rowdiest that area ever gets is for Hemp Fest. So I went home to bed thinking, Did they have a permit for that party? And what was the occasion?

Next morning (today), the TV camera trucks and lights are deployed all along Elliott. The P-I reports one teenager shot dead, and another at wounded Harborview. With more stories to follow. Was there a security guard? Should there have been? Was alcohol being served to minors? Was there a permit for the party? Two teenage males are apparently being sought by police, with no arrests yet made.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of Seattle commuters have had the experience of driving past fender benders on I-5, sometimes when ambulances have been called after the crash. This was similar, only I missed the shots, the ambulance, and the police by about 45 minutes. It was more akin to driving, then having some car pass you at a reckless speed. Then later you read about the fatal accident on a stretch of road that, before, always seemed so ordinary.

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