Search for MLK/Cherry shooter moves forward as SPD beefs up presence, vigils continue

The investigation into the shooting that left Justin Ferrari dead behind the wheel of his car as he and his visiting parents drove his children to swimming lessons Thursday afternoon continues with detectives combing through evidence collected from the scene around MLK and Cherry and following leads in the neighborhood. Meanwhile, community vigils and efforts to organize around the tragedy to better understand and deal with the circumstances that lead to it continue.

On Friday, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn visited the scene of the 42-year-old Ferrari’s killing and said the city would respond by increasing the number of police on the streets and doing more to confiscate weapons. Friday night, the increased presence was visible with a greater than usual number of SPD vehicles on patrol in the Central District.

SPD’s public description of details of the incident have shifted over the last 48 hours. Initially, police described Ferrari as being caught in the crossfire of a street dispute and a detailed description of one suspect was posted to the SPD’s blotter web site. Police were looking for “a black male, light-skinned, late teens to 20′s, six feet tall, 170 pounds, hair in corn rows, possibly wearing a dark hat, red jacket with gray or dark-colored panels on it, shorts and red shoes.” By Friday, police specified that they were looking for one shooter from the incident and described the suspect as only a black male in his 20s.

“Near the intersection of MLK Jr. Way and East Cherry Street the suspect began firing a gun at individuals that he was in a verbal altercation with,” SPD’s description of the incident reads. “The victim was struck by one of the bullets fired by the suspect, killing him. The suspect then fled the scene on foot.”

Homicide detectives are reportedly working with surveillance video collected from businesses in the area from around the time of Thursday’s shooting to identify the suspect. CDN is also aware of several instances where police have detained suspects fitting descriptions of people seen by witnesses in the Central District and outside the neighborhood including places like downtown’s troubled 3rd and Pine intersection.

According to the Modesto Bee, Ferrari is the son of a prominent farming family in Turlock, California. His parents were visiting the Madrona family to watch their grandchildren as Ferrari and his wife, Dr. Maggie Hooks, planned to spend some time alone.

Ferrari’s killing marks the 15th homicide for Seattle in 2012 — the city recorded 20 in 2011. Nearly all of the 2012 killings have been shootings. The spike comes as Seattle’s homicide rate had dropped to a 55-year low in 2010. While the Central District has had its fair share of reported gun violence and reports of shots fired, according to CDN’s records and the SPD’s posted blotter reports, Thursday’s incident was the first homicide in the neighborhood since a man was found beaten to death near Garfield High School last fall.

Meanwhile, Saturday brings another vigil to the intersection of MLK and Cherry as a group of pastors is planning a prayer vigil. Minister Greg Bankstells the Seattle Times the “gathering is a chance for people to come together and pray for the victim and his family, the perpetrator, and the community.” The vigil is planned for 12:30-1:30 Saturday.

41 thoughts on “Search for MLK/Cherry shooter moves forward as SPD beefs up presence, vigils continue

  1. Yesterday’s 911 Seattle police reports listed four (4) homicides for just yesterday, just the one day. But I have seen no news about the other three (for some reason the one at MLK and Cherry was shown as yesterday at 0:00 o’clock), so there was a listing on that plus three others. What is a homicide and why didn’t the number for this year go up by only one and not four?

  2. Ive lived in the central district my whole life. Im 21 and have seen Plenty of shootings in the area. People die every year from gunshots in this area. Usualy it’s a male and a minority. In this case it was a white man in the wrong place at the wrong time. I send my condolences to his family. However it disgust me to see how young black men can be killed without any action takin by law enforcment; once it’s a white man the police start to care and actually take action. This being said my trust, faith and belief in justice and law enforcement is permanently extinguished. Until society can prove that we as people are all equal instances such as this will have no support from minorities.

  3. Oh is this what tipped you over the edge? A community in grief over an innocent bystander murdered? Now you hate the police? Maybe the next time one of your brothers is shot you can rally around him and make sure the imperialist medics and police stay clear. I hope they catch the guy who committed this chickenshit crime, lock him up for 5-10 years, he gets out in four, and he murders you over a verbal altercation.

  4. I was referring to a different report, but you have answered my question. Thank you!

  5. You know that old saying “Live by the sword; die by the sword?”. Well, that might explain why our community doesn’t collapse into paroxysms of grief when individuals who are members of gangs, or who are otherwise associated with gang members, are killed. It’s still a tragedy, but it’s also a consequence of certain life choices.

    But when a man — no, a loving father, a mentor, and benefactor to our community — is killed, you better believe that the reaction is going to be different. Because he didn’t choose to be a part of the violence. His family is now paying the price for choices he didn’t make.

    See the difference, my friend? Quit playing the race card and look at the choices that lead to the tragic deaths of many of the young men in our community. The color of your skin doesn’t absolve you from the burden of being responsible for your own choices.

  6. David – I agree that it shouldn’t matter what race someone is when reacting to a senseless death. Anyone who is killed or injured accidentally, for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, should be mourned and have the same media coverage and outrage.

    That said, whatever the condition of the Seattle police force (and this argument exists in every city in the country, whenever there is a murder), we need to stay together. People are outraged at senseless murder. Period. I would hope that we all want respect and equality and safety for all of us. Pointing fingers is normal, and a part of anger and grief. But we can only make change, make things better, by uniting, by showing each other that we really do want the same thing, being able to live safely and happily in the same community.

    I am a minority too. Until we all, every minority, supports each other, we support no one.

  7. you are completely right david. this whole incident is rife with racism concealed as grief. Of course people have a right to be upset

  8. oops.. to finish my thought.. people have a right to be upset, but what is coming out in these comments, the reaction by the police and the news, is much more than just grief and a demand for justice. It took a white relatively well off white man with a “family” (because nobody who gets shot in the CD has kids, ever..) to get a reaction to the recent wave of violent crime.

  9. I’m white and my husband is black. We are a professional couple, living in CD. We have two kids. I can’t help, but think, would the community be just as outraged, if this happened to my husband? I hope so. My condolences to the family.

  10. For approximately 12 hours we did not know the identity or the race of the person killed – minus the ones who were there. Reports did not mention race here nor on other news services. It wasn’t until the following morning that the person, and therefore the race of the person, was identified. Did we all of the sudden wake up the next morning and say, “Holy crap! That person was WHITE! Now I am angry!”


    We were pretty PO’ed the night it happened. PO’ed, sad, confused, you name it. Why? Because it was a genuinely innocent victim with zippo gang ties. He was not only murdered, but he was murdered in broad daylight in front of his two young CHILDREN and his PARENTS. Murdered in front of his family.

    That is what had people all ticked off. Does race suddenly negate that? Now do I have to say, “Oh, well it turns out he is white therefore I have to dial down my anger a little.” Please. Drop the race card for a moment and look at what happened and why the community is so upset.

  11. I call bullshit too. When Tyrone Love got killed, everyone was just as angry. There WAS a police response. There WAS a community response. You’re trying to say that this is different, and white folks don’t care when a young black man gets killed– and it’s bullshit. Do you also think black folks don’t care when a white man gets killed? That’s bullshit too. But when a gang member gets killed by another gang member, you’re right–a lot of people don’t care. But it’s not because of their race.

  12. the term “race card” was invented by the right wing as a political maneuver and does not apply to this situation. racism still exists and to not look at this situation through a critical lens is insulting and degrading to black folks in Seattle. JimS says “But when a gang member gets killed by another gang member, you’re right–a lot of people don’t care. But it’s not because of their race.” but when most of the gang members in the Central Area are black then it is about race.

    how many white people who came out to this vigil were at Tyrone’s vigil? And who organized Tyrone’s vigil? same people that organized Justin’s? did the mayor come out to Tyrone’s vigil? theres nothing wrong with grieving and seeing justice – but this is more than that. alot of you are out for blood without realizing the consequences.. All this is going to do is increase the profiling of the SPD for young black men in Seattle.

    If you want the violence to go away, make sure there are well funded community centers with after hours programs, scholarships available for college, after school tutoring, access to affordable and healthy food in the neighborhood, employment opportunities, accessible rents for single parent families, ect.. take away the incentive for gangs to exist.

  13. Ok. May be I was just reading the blog, where many people immediately ssumed that the victim was white. I just don’t like seeing this blog as a forum for so many racist remarks. By the way, accusing black people of “playing a race card” is racially pejorative, i.e. racist. I have a feeling that a lot of this rhetoric wasn’t meant to be racist, but it ended up being such, and that is adding more pain to an already painful situation.

  14. BF –

    I apologize if the term ‘race card’ is offensive to you. I feel like no matter what I say or do I am a racist (this isn’t directly squarely at you, but at the comments in general). Too angry? Race! Not angry enough? Race! Ambivalent? Race!

    I was having this discussion with a co-worker (who is black, as if that matters) and I told her about the dynamics of the neighborhood and now there is this murder. At the time we were discussing, the race of the victim was unknown. I told her I had a feeling that if the victim is white then the black community would say we’re only outraged because he is white. If the victim is black I wasn’t sure what would happen. The crime (family there, innocent victim, etc) is horrid and I honestly think, and still think, that is at the bottom if all the outrage. Most people in this neighborhood are innocent victims with family members. When you put yourself in the victim’s shoes it is horrifying to even imagine. Hence the anger.

    Emotions are incredibly high. I wish both sides of the fence could come together and find a way to fix the wrong of Thursday evening.

  15. “For approximately 12 hours we did not know the identity or the race of the person killed”
    When I returned home after driving past/around the intersection on my way back from the store (roughly 30 minutes after it happened) and quickly jumped online to find out what had happened, I assumed the victim was black. I was horrified and saddened and angry and afraid….especially as the coverage expanded and I learned that it was his young children in the car, and that his parents were in the car….I assumed for whatever reason that it was an African-American family. I realized that I had driven through the intersection maybe 5 minutes before the shooting – it could have been me. It could have been my daughter driving through on her way to the house. All those feelings were racing through my head and my heart. When I learned that the victim and his family were white – it didn’t change how I felt or thought about it in the least. When I learned that he was a microsoftie and probably had plenty of money – it didn’t change how I felt or thought about it.
    People of this neighborhood – it doesn’t matter the race or ethnicity or socio-economic status of any innocent victim. It Just. Does. Not. Matter.

  16. ‘JimS says “But when a gang member gets killed by another gang member, you’re right–a lot of people don’t care. But it’s not because of their race.” but when most of the gang members in the Central Area are black then it is about race.’

    Bullshit again. No, it isn’t about their race. It’s because they’re dealers or gang members. Oh, and incidentally, most of them are black. That’s all it is, incidental. The indifference people feel is because they’re criminals.

    I learned about it in line at Grocery Outlet. Everyone within earshot-a diverse crowd, both black and white- was horrified. Especially when the gentleman said “they killed a dad”. None of us knew the circumstances yet, nobody asked or cared “was he black or white?” We all might have made assumptions, right or wrong, but everyone was horrified, regardless.

    And forgodsake, let’s stop making assumptions about people’s concerns based on who shows up at vigils. It’s natural for a vigil like this to be more heavily comprised of people that knew the victim. That doesn’t mean other people don’t care.

  17. The CD has more social services than anywhere I have lived in my life. When I moved her I was flabbergasted by he amount of money that has been poured into the neighborhood by goth the government and NGOs. As for profiling young black males, the shooter was a young black male, as was the shooter in every other homicide this year. Are all young black males murderers, of course not, however every murder in the city so far has been committed by black males.

    But this is not about social services, or race, it is about an innocent man gunned down in cold blood in broad daylight in front of his parents and children. It is sickening, and equally sickening for anybody to make excuses for this behavior. People are shrugging their shoulders and brushing this off, well I for one am goddamned outraged.

  18. I am saddened by some of the hate coming out here on each “side”.

    Well, since this happened at MLK, I thought I’d share some of MLK’s words of wisdom that are still very relevant today:

    “A person should not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”.
    “In your thirst for freedom, do not drink from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”
    “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.

    These words should apply to everyone, white or black or whatever.

    We all know and see the effects of white racism. It’s a shame that it’s still happening. I also see the impacts of police profiling on minorites. But, MOST whites in the cd are good people. Why profile and trash all whites because of the actions of some? That’s just as bad as profiling blacks. There are also black racists (yes, I’ve dared to say it and y’all know who you are). It’s different but it’s still wrong. When groups of blacks here randomly attack single, white kids simply because of the color of their skin and no other reason….like on the metro busses…well, there’s no excuse for that. It’s also disrespectful to Dr. Kings message. David, you have been brainwashed by a lot of anti-white propaganda. There were many whites who cared about the Love kid’s death, there were many whites who cared about Trayvon Martin (I was surprised at how many were brave enough to show up at some rallies).

    It is an injustice that two kids lost their father in a horrible way. Those poor kids had NOTHING to do with discrimination against minorites. If you can’t feel sad for them, because they happen to be white and some whites are racists, then you are simply cold hearted.

    Now to the posters here who don’t feel sad when gang bangers die, well I do feel sad when “gang bangers” kill each other. I’ve known far too many intelligent black kids who have high hopes and big dreams where I say: “That person could easily be a physicist, a doctor, etc.” Then later I hear they end up literally on a dead end path. What an incredible waste. That is also a tragedy. And it’s much more complicated than saying they “chose” this. It’s a pretty crappy set of alternatives when gang life is seen as a more rewarding choice. When there is a distinct lack of structural opportunity….well, you see the result. My parents moved to the cd in 1962. They, and I, have seen all kinds of awful things. All kinds of -isms on all sides.

    All this bickering needs to stop. We are rapidly becoming a 2 class society, and the ultra rich are laughing their way to the bank while we bicker. Have you ever heard of divide and conquer? Middle class, and poor blacks and whites need to band together. United we stand, divided we fall.

  19. JimS, so incidentally, the only gangs in the CD are almost all black and you have no idea as to why?? i find that really hard to believe. how come all those middle class white kids over at garfield aren’t shooting each other up?

    and Karl, to separate the issue of poverty from crime is not logical. One of the reasons that the Central District and Seattle in general has such low levels of crime is because of the vast availability of social services and employment. It’s no coincidence that crime is high and unemployment is also high at this moment.

  20. “You know that old saying “Live by the sword; die by the sword?”. Well, that might explain why our community doesn’t collapse into paroxysms of grief when individuals who are members of gangs, or who are otherwise associated with gang members, are killed. It’s still a tragedy, but it’s also a consequence of certain life choices.”

    Why are you assuming that when a young black man is murdered, he is in a gang?

  21. “A person should not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”.

    Funny I was just thinking the same thing.

  22. Criminal history and gang history of murder victims – of any color – is usually part of the coverage reported in the Times, probably courtesy of the gang unit, but frequently hinted at in comments to the press by family how someone used to be in prison but were turning their life around, etc. etc. Or, by all the gang signs being thrown in the person’s pictures published after a killing. Also the gang unit will usually talk about if a specific murder is thought to be provoking retaliation.

  23. If you’d taken the time to read my comment in detail, you’d see that nowhere in my statement did I assume that when a young black man is murdered that he is in a gang. Simply, many of the murders in our neighborhood are in the end tied to gang membership in some form and that this fact colors our response to these murders. Don’t put words in my mouth.

  24. You did respond with that to David’s complaint that young black men are killed without law enforcement action. While I agree that the implication that you think all young black men are gang members is unfair, it’s no more fair to imply that the only young black men David is referring to are gang members.

  25. I believe the outrage has to do with the absolute innocense of the victim…Im positive if the father was black the outcry would be the same..You are very typical in your response..It’s people like you that keep this type of scum out on the street..Have some guts and do the right thing Mr CDL…Do you think not supporting the system is going to further your cause to be treated “equal”? Grow the fuck up and quit seeing youself as a victim..It does nobody any good..BE a man and come out against this type of behaviour or your vote can never be counted…Yes, your lack of outrage/finger pointing/non support shows solidarity with the perpetrators and this makes you of questionable moral character…

  26. How are police to support the investigation of such crimes when the credo in the CD, specifically among the black community, is “don’t talk to the police. Even if you witnessed a murder. Even if it was your family member. Even if you yourself were the victim of a shooting – don’t talk to police.” I’ve lived in the CD for 50 years and even in the early 80’s I heard it at the neighborhood meetings at GHS with the police, old ladies saying “We’ll handle this ourselves. We don’t need the police.” If that’s the credo, and even as a victim one sticks by it, how on EARTH do you expect police to be able to investigate, bring charges, and actually win at trial with no cooperating victim and witnesses who refuse to witness. The “no snitching” credo empowers victimizers, and completely disempowers victims. Yet victims embrace it. Why? Don’t blame the police if the mantra of the entire community is “Shhhhh! Don’t help them investigate!” How sad it is, at my age, to see an entire generation brainwashed by victimizers into thinking they are sticking it to the man by perpetuating their own victimhood.

  27. Man. Everybody is completely missing the point. The murderers didn’t even know Justin. They were just firing wildly with no interest in anyone other than themselves. Racism requires that you actually care about something even if others might see it as misguided.

    What we are trying to deal with is a culture that just doesn’t care about you at all. Your kids, your wife, you husband are just cardboard cut outs randomly moving along the street. They don’t know you. They don’t want to know you.

    They don’t care about you, because you are not going to do anything except keep anonymously driving around in the scenery.

  28. We should judge people for being murderous gang members, acting like gang members, supporting gang members, applogizing for gang members and dressing like gang members.

    Tell you 12 year old to pull his pants up, stand up strait, and stop mumbling. It’s almost that simple.

  29. Perhaps if more people did pay attention when “one of those people” was killed, the odds of having another incident like this one would be less.

    What happened was a tragedy. I walk my kids through 25th & Cherry multiple days a week, and sure that could have been me or my wife or someone I knew instead of the guy who was killed.

    But to presume that ‘the neighborhood’ can afford to ignore what’s been going on because ‘it didn’t happen to us’ isn’t going to get us anywhere. Our neighborhood (and I mean the greater Central District, including Madrona and Leschi) is quick to anger and frustration and hurt when something like this happens. We are lousy at sustained response and organization, which is the way other neighborhoods make the City pay attention. Sure we got McGinn saying we’ll increase police attention (and I’m not blaming East Precinct for this; it’s obvious they are stretched thin) but for how long? With the South End in general dealing with gun violence, it’s going to take a lot more than just a temporary ‘hot spot’ approach to fix this.

    And let’s not forget that SPD is going to be facing DOJ-required changes. We can point fingers at David’s original comment, but I would imagine his experiences with SPD are very different than those of many of us commenting on this thread.

    My point? We keep talking about this stuff, every time someone gets killed, and I like to think that collectively we’re learning from each other and making some progress. But I also think we really, really need to look at our neighborhood organizations (and here I’m talking about the CD, since Madrona and Leschi are frankly better organized) and question how good we are at working with Council and the Mayor’s office.

    I’ll end by saying that, at the federal level, we simply must legalize marijuana. Folks who are making a living selling an illegal substance are armed. Take away the illegal substance and it’s a whole different ballgame.

  30. When you have had an encounter with the police, how do they treat you? A couple of years back two officers came to my house at 10:30 pm investigating A POSSIBLE STOLEN DOG! They treated me, a white guy suspected of nothing, with utter disrespect and condescension. I was merely the next door neighbor of someone involved. If a black person were to call the Seattle Police and even hint that they knew something about this crime, the police would respond with a greater amount of disrespect and probably end up taking that person to jail whether they were involved or not. Look at how they treated Maurice Clemmons aunt when she called them to say that Maurice was headed over to her house and that she feared for the safety of her family. It’s no wonder the SPD doesn’t get any cooperation from the Black community. SPD is under investigation by the Dept of Justice right now for racism. They have been blase about gang violence for years because they take the attitude that usually the gangbangers just shoot each other up. They have stepped up patrols for now and they talk a good story, but I guarantee you in a few months it will all blow over and be back to business as usual for them– they’ll retreat to their donut shops and we’ll never see them on the streets.

  31. Wow what a week. I think the hype cycle went on alot longer than usual because of the timing. Thursday before a long weekend gave people lots of time to be upset. We should ask the gangs to limit this stuff to evenings, preferably Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so that they miss the news cycle and we don’t have to talk about it at lunch.

    Get back to work. See you in a few weeks.

  32. You honestly need to get your facts somewhere near straight rather than flat out made up, when discussing Ms. Clemmons. She didn’t call, or do any of what you stated. She stalled for more than an hour, tried to talk the murderer in to not coming to her house, as did her husband, and when that failed she STILL didn’t call police. She drove all the way to the East Precinct, ignoring her cell phone and the many pay phones on the way. She made sure Maurice Clemmons got away, far from calling the police, as you allege. She didn’t. She stalled. For more than an hour. Then she drove around. Only THEN was info given, in person, to the police miles away. Get real.

  33. I am glad to see people waking up but I wonder where you have been some of you? Just look back on this blog or talk to people that have been around and active for decades. Look at the meetings after both black and white people have been killed in our neighborhood. Please do not turn what could be an even more powerful response into despair and negativity. There are many groups daily working to improve things. Now that you are aware, for whatever reason, get involved where you can contribute.

  34. All you did was substantiate the argument against her. Yes, Pierce County believes that in FINALLY reporting him, that was the right thing to do. It does not say that any LEA felt the right thing to do was wait more than an hour, talking to him 4 times on the phone, and only worrying about her family’s safety then FINALLY after more than an hour moseying on up to the East precinct. What if he’d shot up a crosswalk full of kids or a school in the intervening hour, like he’d talked about doing? Would you still think her stalling for more than an hour was the right thing? She thought of only her family and when she finally got panicked, then she drove to SPD, rather than calling. Had she reported him the 1st of the many times he called, we wouldnt have had a rabid dog wandering the neighborhood waiting to kill another cop or shoot up a bunch of innocent people as he’d talked about doing. Thank GOD For the cop who killed him. Ms. Clemmons can now collect lots of money for the damage to her house. If he’d gone on the rampage he predicted in that hour, or after she facilitated his further escape by stalling, you’d be singing a different tune.

  35. Agreed. This was a reluctant witness that acted only after knowing there was no way out. Too bad she profitted from it. If she had called an hour earlier police could have come and protected her home. Instead they were forced to destroy it and pay for it.

  36. This is my old house – the night I moved in there was a shooting. The only time I saw cops was when they were speeding down MLK towards Madison, where the money is. That was 18 years ago. Seems like nothing much has changed. My heart goes out to all involved. So sad.

  37. we all need to continue to put pressure on the spd brass to update us(cd) on the current investigation on the murderer of Justin. Do not let the roosevelt carnage overshadow the senseless death of this man.His family are our neighbors and we as a community have a responsibility to pursue the truth.His family and we as a community deserves better than what we have recieved.Plz,continue to email the city council, the mayor and the Chief of police.Demand updates or the status of the investigation, as ugly as the truth may be.If they don’t know who it is or have no leads,they need to tell us.Keep the pressure on.Do this for yourself,Justins family and the community he loved!