Hours before community forum on violence, woman killed on First Hill + 4 in U District

UPDATE: See below for running coverage of the very lively and sometimes tense community forum.

A woman was shot in the head and killed shortly after 11:30 Wednesday morning in what could be a carjacking at 8th and Seneca in the parking lot of Town Hall on First Hill.

The suspect, described as a white male with a crew cut, fled in the victim’s black Mercedes. The car was recovered in West Seattle, where police started a manhunt. Our sister site Capitol Hill Seattle in on the scene with more information.

The killing comes just 30 minutes after a man shot five people at Cafe Racer in the University District, killing two (UPDATE: A third victim has died. UPDATEx2: A fourth victim has also died.) and seriously wounding the others. A manhunt in the U District/Ravenna closed Ravenna and Cowen Parks, while all public schools in the area went into lockdown. Police say it’s too early to say the two incidents are unrelated.

UPDATE: The suspect has allegedly shot and killed himself at 37th and SW Raymond, just miles from where the Mercedes was found (UPDATE: The suspect has died). Police now believe the incidents are related.

Recent fatal shootings have hit the south side, the north side, Pioneer Square, First Hill and right here in the Central District. While other neighborhoods have been the scene of shootings today, the Central District is still in the early stages of coming to terms with last week’s shooting death of Justin Ferrari at MLK and Cherry.

In the wake of Ferrari’s death, the East Precinct Advisory Committee (EastPAC) organized a community forum on violence in the neighborhood. The forum will go from 6:30-8 p.m. today (Wednesday) at Garfield Community Center.

“We’re going to keep it simple,” said EastPAC Chair Stephanie Tschida. Since Ferrari’s death is still very fresh and today’s violence has likely stirred up a lot of fresh emotions, the forum will be focused mostly on giving community members the chance to speak.

“We just want people to come together,” said Tschida. “It helps for people to be together and talk about this stuff.”

40 thoughts on “Hours before community forum on violence, woman killed on First Hill + 4 in U District

  1. Thank you for posting this, Tom. As a community, we are alarmed, upset, and on edge as well as very sad about these shootings. Let’s come together tonight as neighbors with the will to work together and support one another.

  2. This is a violent civilization
    If civilization’s where I am
    Every channel that I stop on
    Got a different kind of cop on
    Killing them by the million for Uncle Sam

    Saturday night just ain’t that special
    Yeah, I got the constitution on the run
    ‘Cause even though we’ve got the right
    To defend our home, to defend our life
    Got to understand to get it in hand about the guns

    Everybody got a pistol, everybody got a 45
    And the philosophy seem to be
    At least as near as I can see
    When other folks give up theirs, I’ll give up mine.

  3. Another tragic day filled with gun violence. Todays killer was apprehended quickly. Where is the central area killer,how come there are no official updates regarding the status of the investigation on the cd killer? The cd has got to install city / street cameras. Unbelievable that an area like mlk/cherry doesn’t have any video/cameras. CD businesses must do better,not only to protect themselves but to assist the police with chronic crime incidences .What a difference this would have made. Justin is dead, and Spd doesn’t seem to have a clue about who this perp is.

  4. The CD killer is being hidden for those that harbor criminals and believes in no snitch. I was just thinking this on my way home, why is there not more outrage, why can’t he be found? Why will this community not spit this criminal out? Time for cameras and Proud to be a snitch tshirts to come out.

  5. To be clear, we do know that the shooter killed someone in full on daylight and had people around him that ran with him. His community is hiding him, whatever that community is. Cameras would have caught this act and the shooter would not be able to hide.

  6. Seriously, if an artsy coffeehouse in Roosevelt, a place I think of as “sleepy” compared with the CD, has a security camera that caught the killer on film, it makes no sense that our most dangerous corners have have no cameras.

  7. “…in the aftermath of Justin Ferrari’s shooting…Police say they will put additional units in the field at times that have a high probability for gun violence, BASED ON DATA FROM THE GANG UNIT.”

    So, someone from some OTHER hood came in to our area’s gang turf to shoot up the CD then run away, on foot? And vanishes into our neighborhood? Unlikely.

  8. We feel that this blog is the lifeline to up-to-date information. Thank you so much for posting meeting notes for those of us who cold not attend.

  9. Of course. Thanks for following. Everyone following online, feel free to add your thoughts.

  10. I was not saying the killer has no community, upd. Obviously, everyone lives in a community. But you said “this community,” and we simply do not know if that is true. Just trying to keep the facts straight.

  11. I had to miss the police forum tonight, but really appreciated being able to see a picture of the audience and to read what was said. Thank you for your great news coverage. Thank you also to the young family allowing their front yard as a public place for neighbors to pay tribute to Justin and his family. Thank you also to the man who organized the candlelight vigil the night of the shooting.

  12. Thank you, Tom, for the great coverage. I was there last night and woke up this morning to rain and a heavy heart. It’s helpful to see the highlights and remember that even with all the hurt and anger expressed last night that there was connection, laughter, hope, and passion, too.

    It was my first community meeting, so I can relate to the gentleman’s comments about looking for a solution vs being scared. I believe I am both scared and looking for a solution. I hope there isn’t an end to the conversations and intention of good will that surely most people left with after last night’s meeting. I also want to commend those brave enough to stand vulnerable before such a large gathering and speak their truth.

    Two things I was not brave enough to get up and say. First is that the phrase “innocent civilians” was spoken several times last night in reference to Justin Ferrari. While it is true he is an innocent civilian, I can’t help but think that any person shot dead in our streets, regardless of age, occupation, race, or belief is an innocent. This is not to take away the importance of personal responsibility and accountability, and certainly a wealthy person can have a sick, trouble soul as much as a poor person can have a good, compassionate heart. But, I believe we are all born innocent; we all have potential for great things – be they large or small – and somewhere along the line we adults fail our children. Be it as parents, educators, neighbors, elected officials, etc. Something is going wrong when a child, who begins life with so much possibility, ends up with a gun in his (or her) hand taking the life of another.

    The second thought I have is that there were several pleas to see beyond color. That we are all, essentially, the same and that if we didn’t see each other’s “color” things would be better. I question this. Is this really an answer? True, we are all human and therefore share a common collection of nerves, organs, brain, and blood vessels. We all love, hurt, get angry, and laugh. But, isn’t it better to also accept the ways we are different? Not to look past that, but to say, “I see you.” I see your face, the color of your skin, eyes, hair. The things that make you laugh. What makes you angry. Where you came from, where you are going. How you hurt, how you love. To hear the ugliness and the beauty of your day to day existence.

    I don’t know. Just some thoughts. I hope the conversations keep going and we can find a way to listen to understand.

  13. Thanks Kari. I appreciate your questions and agree with your thoughts about seeing difference. I think everyone in the room last night truly values the sentiment that we are all the same deep down, and want to be treated equally. However, there can be a real damaging effect individually and systematically if we do not learn to see difference and value it with a posture of love toward one another. As a Black man in this community, I deeply connect with some of the frustrations last night and the feelings of marginalization in the CD as it changes; yet I deeply empathize with those labeled as white interlopers in the community. There was a lot of pain last night–and yes some laughter–but I really think we have to learn to see our differences, rather than gloss over them. It is so important to let our commonality engender a posture of understanding through which we can truly listen to, lovingly disagree, and celebrate those different from ourselves.

  14. Maybe I’m naive, but do people really believe that “no snitching” is the underlying reason that murderers aren’t caught? I imagine there are two types of people who won’t speak with police: people engaged in illegal activity themselves, and people who are afraid of being found out and killed. The former represent a failure of law enforcement to make gang members fear them more than they do other gang members. The latter is a failure to make innocent people feel safe enough to come forward. “No snitching” isn’t a culture, it’s an intimidation tactic. There’s an implied “or else”.

    I’d further wager that most people don’t “snitch” because they’re like you and me: they have no idea who’s committing these crimes. We’re all very frustrated that there are criminals walking free, but blindly accusing people who look or dress differently than you of harboring killers is not helpful.

    To people pointing at how fast the U District killer was caught as “proof” that murders are treated differently in our neighborhood, it’s not a comparable situation. The killer there was well known to regulars of the bar, and there were dozens of witnesses. The only witnesses to gang violence tend to be innocent bystanders with no knowledge of the perpetrators’ identities, and other gang members. Gang members also have the presence of mind to lie low after a shooting, whereas the U District killer, obviously out of his mind, decided to carjack someone. The discovery of the abandoned car is what led to his quick capture.

  15. Schtum,
    Interesting perspective. Seems as though the South End has a similar experience. Out of 50 folks down at the Rainier Beach Jack in the Box not a single person knew who the shooter was and couldn’t describe him. It took a week to identify the perp even though there was a video being filmed immediately before the incident. Not much outrage within the city either.


  16. “But, isn’t it better to also accept the ways we are different? Not to look past that, but to say, ‘I see you.'”

    “I really think we have to learn to see our differences, rather than gloss over them.”

    I think you both hit the nail on the head. I was there last night as well. People cannot feel respected unless they feel they are seen. My sense is that many of my black neighbors want the white community to see that they have been living here a long time, and dealing with the violence on the streets a long time, losing their loved ones and hurting a long time.

    The white people who live here also want to be respected and not dismissed as white interlopers who have no right to try to curb the gangs and thugs that frequent East Cherry. My sense is that the second discussion can’t really happen until the white community can bring themselves to truly see the black one.

  17. You both have it right Butch and Schtum. I would add however – Popular culture is glorifiying gangs, gang dress, gang speach, disrespect of just about everything, and the no snitch code. It is cool and respected. That needs to change. In that sense our tolerance as a community perpetuates the problem.

    We should dis-own the concept of tolerance as it implies we will accept something we don’t want. Let’s not tolerate disrespect and violence. As for the other things we “tolerate” – perhaps we should just accept them.

    I don’t “tolerate” gays – They aren’t doing anything that impacts me in any way. I don’t tolerate gang members at all – They are a threat to life itself. So I have a zero tolerance policy. I just adjust the scope to be useful and realistic.

  18. Thanks for the reply, butch. You’re right about “not much outrage”, I hadn’t heard anything about that case before. Look like the guy was finally caught:


    …but still a lot of unanswered questions. How did they ID the guy? If someone “snitched” then that hopefully goes towards my point that people will do so if they feel safe. My other question is, why the hostility towards the cops in that story? Misdirected anger? Longstanding distrust? Or were they mad that they weren’t there sooner?

    If there are people out there who identify more with gang members than they do with cops, despite not being in gangs themselves, then “no snitching” may be a real problem. Like a form of Stockholm syndrome, with entire communities as the hostages. Still, until I see some hard evidence, I have to believe that intimidation is the overriding factor.

  19. Was is just me or during the Mayor’s press conference yesterday did NONE of them offer or even mention how sad and sorry we all are for the victims in this crime? Where’s the humanity first!

  20. There was a minute of silence for the victims of recent violence at the start.

  21. They also did remark about how the video was some of the most horrific things that they had seen in their decades of service. Hearing how they said this… I felt their humanity and sadness.

  22. I’ve said this a dozen time on here, so forgive me, but my own experience as a lifelong CD resident was this: I owned the same house for 15 years. I knew my neighbors. I went to their family’s funerals and brought food and flowers to the house when a child died. On sunny afternoons we waved from behind the lawnmower and complained about the heat. Yet, on a sunny Sunday afternoon with cars in the driveways of more than half the block’s residents, and house doors and windows open, and people outside gardening, burglars took well over an hour to go around my house attempting to kick in doors, eventually getting in, exterior alarm blaring so loudly that I could hear it long before I drove up to my house. My neighbors watched my house robbed. They watched a woman with one of the robbers sit on my front porch and smoke a cigarette while the interior was sacked. My neighbors directly across the street described the whole scenario to me in great detail. Others gave me descriptive info in case I wanted to personally retaliate. NONE of the neighbors called the police. Why? Because it has been an unspoken rule in the CD since the 80’s (coinciding with gang influx) that you don’t talk to the police. No matter what. Even if you’re the victim. Even if the person killed someone you know. You don’t tell. My neighbors didn’t fail to call 911 because they thought the crackheads robbing my house would figure out which of the 15 houses on the blocked called it in. That’s ridiculous. They failed to call because it’s taboo in the CD. Along with saggy pants and music and media glorification of dead gangsters, the “don’t snitch” part of gang culture is engrained in our poorest of neighbors who, ironically, are the most likely to be victimized. So, I moved. If my neighbors, who I grieved with when their child died, couldnt pick up the phone when my house was being robbed, then there exists a racial divide between us which they are unwilling to cross. No matter how good a neighbor I was, the color of my victimizer was more important, and deserving of more loyalty, than my kids and I.

    This was not the case in the CD in the 70’s. When I was a kid coming out of the IGA in Madrona with my mom some black teens mugged my mom an stole our groceries. The Black Panther headquarters across the street emptied in to the street and the Panthers gave chase, dragged the robbers back and whacked the hell out of them on the way. The glorification of gang culture, and a belief that the police are the enemy always and in every situation, has changed the culture in the CD for the worse, and we all pay for it. Neighbors of ALL colors cannot expect to be a community when robbers and drug dealers and murderers are protected because “we don’t talk to the police.”

    Now I live north of my old south CD home, in a much smaller place. I miss my beautiful, big, old, falling apart house and wooded lot. But I have neighbors now who call the police when crime occurs, and who I can trust to call if I’m ever victimized again.

  23. Yes. The divide is that wide. At various jobs over long periods of time I thought I had strong relationships, trust, and beginnings of friendship. And then a problem would occur that trusted associates can work through. But when race is involved it becomes the center point all of a sudden and the Grand Canyon opens up. And there is no way to cross unless you agree to meat at the bottom. But when you get there you end up alone.

    Every now and then I thing about trying again, but, my memory has some pretty sharp points in it and the pain just says, eh, don’t bother. Sorry, kinda but.

  24. The cops at the forum were all high ranking officers with over 30 years of service, the new captain of the E precinct had 37 years seniority, I think they have all had any human feelings beaten out of them by the rigors of the service. In fact all of them and the mayor had just come off of a really lousy day holding press conferences and fielding a public relations nightmare, probably were not looking forward to facing down another group of upset citizens.
    I actually felt relieved that a community organizer took charge of the event so more people didn’t feel compelled to unload on them. Bruce Harrell in particular seemed like he really needed to go home sleep it off, not the most confidence inspiring performance I’ve seen in a while.
    Props to the kid from the Umoja House who had a few hair raising words about feeling the presence of the dead when he moves through the world, like he knows how it feels to loose a loved one and feel their memory. In fact seeing a community empowered is a terrible and beautiful thing to behold, I’m almost sure the public safety council and the East precinct are really not ready to deal with that reality yet.

  25. The police are not protectors of the community you need to do some research. The pigs started in this country for two reasons. One, to catch runaway slaves, and Two, to keep poor people away from the rich properties. A system set up and founded by oppression can never be anything more!!! Did it ever occur to you SHEEPLE that maybe people don’t want to tell the pigs anything because the pigs are criminals too?!

    The police is a racist, oppressive institution. The CD is not dangerous at all and I aint even from there! The white people shouldn’t get to just move in and have things change because they want it when it wasn’t good enough reason that the POC in the neighborhood wanted changes.

    Change and by that I mean real change, is not going to happen through gentrification. I honestly wish all the people that were there because of it would leave. The police are rapists, murderers, thieves and robbers too but the difference is they get away with it.

    The comments on here are as ignorant and brain washed as the day is long. I agree with the don’t snitch policy. The system needs to be done away with and start from scratch also the pigs should not be able to be the “Law” in a neighborhood they do not live in.

    Proud To Be A Snitch t shirts? Really?! Well I’ll tell you this, you need to watch more prison movies cause snitches don”t last and if I see a guy in one of those shirts get shot I aint saying a word. I’ll just laugh because you people are a part of the problem you opt for the Yesler gentrification and building more jails.

    I have ideas for solutions but I aint gonna waste time on the enemy like yourselves talking about it because you are all brainwashed. Good luck “Changing” the no snitch policy you really think they’re gonna listen to you? I probably have a better chance of getting my voice heard by youth of color and I aint even from this city! But I happen to be First Nations the ORIGINAL people and so when you refer to this as “My city” its really a joke.

    That’s why I don’t see crime as crime here. Stealing isn’t stealing if its already stolen! You people encouraging snitching are not only out of touch and probably suburban kids born with a silver spoon, you would be endangering lives of the youth who did snitch.

    This is an oppressed community that has problems within but snitching is not going to do anybody any good. They need a system independent of the police.

    I’m just in shock at how blind people can be….COPS are gang members but the dangerous thing is, they do what gang bangers do and its LEGAL

  26. I think that is an almost perfeclty justifiable position. I could agree with it if I wanted to. But then I would have to find a schooner and sail back to, uhhh, well I could cut of a leg and leave it in Ireland, then hop over to Wales and cut off my other leg, then swim over to Normandy and hack off an arm, of course I’ll claw my way to Sweden and leave my junk their as that is quite obviously where that came from….

    Or I could keep up the good fight from my side of the Canyon. You are way the heck on the other side and I’m winning. Winning! Why do I feel like Charlie Sheen?

  27. at least some part of anti-snitching policy is a reaction to police brutality and the judicial systems treatment of black men.

  28. Ooh Can I step into the void completely? In terms of why don’t we send you back where you came from? How about Rowanda? Uganda? Somalia?

    Let’s just put everyone back where they belong.

    Or, we could just split up this place. I’ll go up north of the canal and stay there. The POC can stay right here. We’ll have seperate schools (equal of course). And I like my water just a little different so, I’ll need my own fountain of course. Hey, would you mind putting on some aftershave or something? Brilliant! How come we never thought of that before?

    Hey, but these aren’t my ideas – You just asked for it. Are you sure you want me to leave?

  29. Ahiga, It must be comforting to live in your world, where everything is so clear cut! “The police are rapists, murderers, thieves and robbers too but the difference is they get away with it.” They shouldn’t get away with it– NOBODY should get away with it, and it should be up to all of us to try and make sure that NOBODY gets away with it!
    Do you have anybody you love in your life? Young kids, close relatives, anybody? Do you believe that anyone who raped, killed,robbed, or harmed one of your loved ones should get away with it? Do you think anyone who knew about it shouldn’t snitch? I don’t think so…

  30. Wow! Those are great ideas. We must work towards a final solution as hastily as possible. A little blood spilled along the way will be worth it.

  31. “judicial system treatment” – hrumphh. That’s like a spa day compared to the lives these guys are living when they are not in jail. Jail itself is like crack. Until our prisons are long hard and brutal work camps people will continue flocking to get into the system.

  32. I notice from your comments that facts don’t seem to bend your perception about things once you’ve formed a narrative to your liking, but as you know there are plenty of people from other neighborhoods (and cities) with relatives here. Please don’t lose the forest for the trees.

  33. It was one of our inmates in the containment district (CD), most definately. He’ll be dead within the year.

  34. From the Westboro Church website:

    “St. Demetrios Church in Seattle, WA June 7, 2012 10:15 AM – 10:45 AM
    Westboro Baptist Church will picket the funeral of Gloria Koch Leonidas. God sent the shooter to the coffee shop and executed HIS judgment. God hates fags. God hates fag enablers. God hates fag marriage. When Washington State put their hand to pass fag marriage into law, they flipped off God and put a target on the backs of their people.”

  35. What we need is a deranged fag to take out the protestors for their sin of being aholes. How about the guy from Port Angeles, Dunn. We should get him out on bail and set him loose on Westroro.

  36. Get off it Poi. I would hardly classify SPD or any Washington police agency as “brutal”. Perhaps some degree of unfairness and an occasional kicking of aholes, but brutal? No. That is silly. You are silly.

    And what is your paranoia about fascists? He is simply suggesting that we stop codling criminals. There is a culture clash and offering them tea isn’t the winning strategy. The pressure needs to be that you can fit into civilized society or be forced out by gun toting rednecks.

    Hey has anybody noticed that the gangs have already change hats? They went to grey and black plaid almost overnight. I could be wrong about this but red seems to have disapeared from the CD overnight. They are either gone (doubt it) or the bought some new cloths. This could acutally be what is left after they are gone. Gotta admit I like the style. Is it criminals? or Are you guys regular neighbors?