Community Post

Today’s PI story on Aaron Sullivan

From the Seattle PI:

Debra Sullivan, a black woman, questioned why the picture of her son’s killer, a white teen from Leschi, hasn’t been shown on local television news. Friends questioned if the case had been downplayed — by the media and authorities — because of the race issue, as opposed to the recent South Park case, in which a black man killed a white woman.

She worries people will rush to judge her son. “No one’s going to say my son’s half-white,” she said. “He’ll just be that black kid. People need to know my son.”


A funeral for Aaron Sullivan has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Aug. 1 at St. Therese Parish. A vigil is planned from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Rainier Community Center.

0 thoughts on “Today’s PI story on Aaron Sullivan

  1. I was watching the news this morning and the South Park case was showing, that very same thought also crossed my mind. Why is that? If it had been an African-American that did the shooting, as soon as he would have been charged for murder, his photo would’ve been flashed on t.v. and on the front page of the paper. Baffling huh?

  2. Just FYI – We searched high and low for a photo of Appleberry, but couldn’t find anything on Facebook, MySpace, etc. And unfortunately, King County policy forbids releasing booking photos to media organizations.

    The only luck we ever have with booking photos is if the suspect has ever been in state corrections system. But we’ve found that to be hit or miss even for people who have been locked up there.

    But if anyone can point us to a photo of the suspect, we’d be glad to publish it.

  3. I am glad to know I am not the only one who has thought this….
    The media can be so one-sided.

    Appleberry played on Nathan Hale’s football team…. maybe they have a picture of him.

    The lack of media information on this kid is crazy to me. I feel very bad for Sullivan’s family.

  4. Negative on the football team photo – he was in the “not pictured” list.

  5. I remember Aaron as a wonderful boy, always happy and helping his family. It is sad to know how an angry man, took his life away.
    I also wondering why his picture is not on the news?, and why he is been charge as a second degree murder? When a men who shoot with a rifle to a young boy, having enough time to think about what he was doing, and is not charge as first degree?. The killer’s mother should be charge too, as complice of the crime, she knew her son got the gun to kill.The killer should be in jail for life.
    Very concern about nobody can find a picture of this men. hmmm!

  6. But when you go looking for trouble, it will find you.

    RIP Aaron. Why didn’t your folks know what you were getting up to?

    Young people – be careful. You may think there are no risks in life – experience will teach you otherwise.

  7. Aaron’s mom is so right. Many have judgmentally rushed to judge her son. But so many more have recognized and honored him for the bright young man that he really was.
    I knew him and he did not own a gun. There was no gun in the car. He was shot in the back as he tried to leave the argument.
    I remember Aaron as a very caring person. He was also very smart and talented.
    Aaron will be missed by so many. He will never have a chance to realize his true potential. Appleberry should not get the chance to realize his true potential either…..if he ever had any!
    Did this Appleberry ever go to high school? Is there a photo of him in the yearbook? If so, get it out there!

  8. I am still shocked about Aaron’s death. Just dropped my son off at his house to spend the night two weeks ago. Both my son’s are (were) friends with Aaron and his brother. This is the second funeral my son’s are attending this year. Old people go to funerals – not teenagers. That’s just wrong. F.Y.I. Appleberry was attending Nova this past year.

  9. OMG!!!!!! My kid go to Nova! Thank God appleberry is in jail. If he gets out, I will definitly yank my child out of Nova. She is terrified of this monster. Hopefully the public school system would not allow him back into any school to endanger our kids! My daughter just told me that appleberry has previously shown a violent temper and has been violent with kids and people before this incident. With a second degree charge, you just never know if or when they will be let go. This frightens me to no end.

    How could anyone in their right mind shoot an unarmed man in the back…….through the back window of a car that even had other innocent kids in it……????

  10. I agree, with the comments regarding the shooter’s picture.
    There were very nasty comments posted in other post regarding Aaron, almost as if it was his fault he was killed. Others were saying that he was no boy scout, trying to imply drug involvement. One went on to say, that it was a drug deal gone bad. Also, other comments implied that this was a black on black shooting. In fact, Aaron was bi-racial, and the shooter was white. Where is the shooter’s picture? The first thing that the media does when there is a shooting that involves a non-white, is to quote the police to say either the police say that it was gang related or wasn’t gang related. That is my cue to know that there were non-whites involved. Yes, our media historically has racist tendencies. Why is it that people constantly explain away injustice? Give me a break; this killer should be charged with first degree murder, which he would have been if he was black (there is no doubt about it). By the way, did you know the reason that Aaron was sitting in front of the shooter’s house? I do, he had just brought groceries to the shooter’s mom, who then sat back and watched the entire event play out. She then lied to the police when they arrived, and let her son slip out of the house. That wasn’t covered in the report either. I am a bit tired of all the racial injustice, that is continually played out in our society…yet there are those who say get over it, and that it doesn’t exist. You know, it is easy be opinionated about issues when you have not experienced it. That is why courageous conversations are so important; they help individuals understand what others are experiencing before rushing to conclusions. I bet Debra Sullivan would like the same empathy and compassion bestowed upon her, that the families of the South Park victims received. Aaron is gone too soon at 18, over an event that wasn’t even his beef. Yes, it was misreported when it was first published. That happens when the police fail to interview witnesses. My prayers are that the Sullivan’s can repair their hearts and lives, which undoubtedly are broken because of this. I also pray that the shooter gets the maximum sentence due to the nature of the shooting. I also pray that Aaron’s death is not in vain, and that there are procedural changes as a result of this tragedy. You know what is quite sad; some folks tend to have more compassion for animals than a human life. If this case had involved a mistreated or dead animal, the perpetrator would have received more time than Aaron’s shooter will get. I say we quickly pull out of all the wars that we are currently in, and focus on fixing this country. There is a saying that it is a poor dog that can’t wag its own tail. We are over in other country trying to move specks, when we have a whole forest to remove right here in front of us. RIP Aaron.

  11. It was amazing to see how many people loved Aaron,last Saturday at church I noticed how loved is this family and there were whites, black,and latins peoples crying and praying inside and outside of the church ( it was so full)
    If the media or the police wanted to release the killer picture they would. Or if not at least they could draw a picture of this guy. We want to he be in jail for life. If he is out he will kill again.

  12. This was not a disrespectful comment but one that assumes any mother will know every movement of her 18 year old child. Actually though she did know. She had just seen him an hour before in the nice neighborhood in which they live. He was with his girlfriend who will be a freshman a USC in the Fall. (so far so good) told him dinner would be ready in an hour they were having salmon, he told her cook it dry like I like it. He told her he was going to the Beach. from reports that is where he went. (so far so good) He was with other young people who knew each other all kids from nice families. Unfortunately, two of the kids got into a male testosterone argument about a girl (sounds like summer discussion at the beach for guys). Aaron was not in the argument, his very intelligent and cute girl was with him. All of them (three cars) continue the argument in front of Tristan Appleby’s house. All get a bit bored and begin to drive off. Appleby goes into house, and with his mother watching comes out of the house and shoots through the back window of the last car, and since it was an Assault weapon AK47 it struck and killed immediately. So who is the good mom and who the bad. Why did Tristan’s mother not stop her son, no one heard her yell stop, she held the police Swat Team at bay for hours. Aaron was a good son, Debra a good mom. With assault weapons in our midst and parents who allow them in their home there is no safety for anyone. This was not a gang or drug deal gone bad. This was Aaron being with kids that cross pollinated everyone knew someone at the beach party. The best friend of the shooter is the son of a former Deputy Mayor a good kid from a good family.

  13. You say you hope that Aaron did not die in vain. The response to this is the organizing for an Aaron Sullivan Assault Weapon Ban by What a wonderful way to honor this young man. Had Tristan Appleberry not had access to the AK47 he used to cowardly shoot this unarmed young man, Aaron would have had a chance. There are not chances with weapons of war. please visit the website and let them know you support a ban on the sale of assault military weapons in Washington.