Two people were shot and killed in an apparent attack against a well-known homeless camp in Seattle, the Seattle Times reported on Tuesday night.
“We have reason to believe it was very targeted as far as what happened,” Assistant Police Chief Robert Merner said at a press conference.
Three other people were injured during the attack, which happened around 7:30 p.m. local time at an area known locally as “The Jungle.” Authorities said they are searching for two “persons of interest” in connection with the shooting, but that no arrests have been made.
The victims were between 25 and 45 years of age, and suffered wounds to their back, abdomen, and chest.
The attack took place shortly before a special address by Mayor Ed Murray regarding the city’s issue addressing the local homeless population. As KIRO-TV reported, the surge in homelessness around both the city and King County led Murray to declare a civil state of emergency last year.
“Too much of the debate, energy and resources have been focused on short-term strategies. We must shift that focus to longer-term solution,” Murray said during his speech. “I believe that we can come together to build a new federal agenda to support affordable housing and to address homelessness.”