Vancouver has Low Violent Crime Rate, Despite Last Week’s Incident

Last week I had a few errands to run Downtown. I was heading west on SR-14 and took the Downtown ramp. The 6th street exit was blocked off with Police activity and as I navigated around the closure I quickly discovered that something rather major was going on. Vancouver Police had several blocks barricaded and there were scores of patrol cars from multiple agencies converged at Smith Tower Apartments. The VPD Command Center was there, the SWAT team, the whole deal. A local news helicopter hovered over downtown while the police did their work.

Smith Tower Apartments, taller building on right

As it turns out, an 80 year old resident of Smith Tower allegedly decided to settle a dispute with another resident with violence. The man reportedly shot three people in the lobby of the building killing one of them.

Vancouver has a very low rate of this kind of crime. We enjoy a homicide rate well under the national average for mid to large sized cities. But the ugliness of violence does occasionally appear as it did last week. In this particular case, it was in a rather unexpected location, the senior living apartments at Smith Tower where residents are required to be at least 62 years old.

These kinds of incidents get a lot of news exposure and can sometimes lead the unaware to a conclusion that isn’t necessarily accurate. Between 2003 and 2017 Vancouver hasn’t had more than 9 homicides in any year and three of those years had ZERO! The whole Portland-Vancouver Metro Area is relatively light on violent crimes. That is a good thing.

Having an army of police converge on a building for several hours can be a distraction from the much more typical, walk-able, fun living opportunity in our excellent downtown and waterfront areas.

Activity in the local urban condo market was quiet and neutral with one closed, two pending, and two new listings. The inventory is adequate for demand and seems to favor neither buyers nor sellers.

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