Madrona man killed in Thursday shooting was developer Justin Ferrari

From Ferrari’s LinkedIn profile

The man killed in the crossfire of a firefight at MLK and Cherry Thursday afternoon has been identified as Justin Ferrari of Madrona. He was 42.

Ferrari’s two young children — 5 and 7—and parents were in the van with him when a suspect “began firing a gun at individuals that he was in a verbal altercation with” across Cherry St, according to police. Ferrari’s van passed westbound into the crossfire, and he was shot in the head. The van rolled slowly to a stop between MLK and 27th Ave. Nobody else in the van was injured.

Seattle Times reports the devastating scene inside the van:

When the gunfire stopped and the young people on the street corner took off, the white Volkswagen van that was in the line of fire began to slow down, then simply rolled away from the corner of East Cherry Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Seattle’s Central Area.

When 43-year-old Justin Ferrari didn’t respond to questions, his father, who was sitting in the passenger seat, unbuckled his seat belt and only then realized his son had been shot in the head.

Ferrari’s two children, ages 5 and 7, got out of the back of the van and ran into a nearby Ethiopian restaurant, a spot where their family had dined before, to ask for help. Ferrari’s father cradled his son as he died in his arms, authorities said.

Assimba Ethiopian Cuisine owner Messeret Habeti helped Ferrari’s children after they ran to the safety of the restaurant. They stayed there for about 45 minutes after the shooting, and the restaurant made them some food. Habeti told the Times that the Ferraris were regulars at the restaurant.

Ferrari’s parents were in town to watch the kids so he and his wife could take their first weekend away together since their kids were born.

Ferrari worked at, a real estate website. Zillow released the following statement about the loss:

We at Zillow were deeply saddened to learn about this tragedy. Justin began working at Zillow three months ago, and worked at Expedia and Microsoft for many years before that. His passing will be felt deeply by his co-workers and friends. Our hearts go out to his family.

Vigil organizer Sully Mcginnis held an inspiring quote from Flo Ware

Dozens of neighbors attended a candlelight vigil Thursday night to mourn and express their support for the then-unidentified family. Comments on our previous story have shown a wide variety of raw emotions from community members— from sadness to anger to fear.

The vigil was organized by Kitchen Sink Project head Sully McGinnis, who wants to see the neighborhood come together to support each other and the family rather than let the incident widen divides.

Over at 18th and Union, Tougo Coffee is donating Friday’s profits to the mourning family:

Please help us put together a fund for the family that loss their Husband/Father, in a senseless issue of gunfire today. We will offer to the family that loss their daddy/husband,brother, son, family man all monies earned after operating expenses tomorrow, This we will offer to the Widow and children of today’s senseless and meaningless violence.


29 thoughts on “Madrona man killed in Thursday shooting was developer Justin Ferrari

  1. Wow. Such a great life stopped just the same as any other. My dad used to show me a picture of his college class and say you could never predict what would happen to any of them. Healthy men died of heart attacks. Chronic smokers lived to 95. Gang bangers run around on the street. Some guy from Madrona dies in a hail of gun fire. Life is like a box of chocolates. I’m headed to Tuogo for a Mocha. I’ll be the guy with the beginnings of a good mustache.

    Cheers Justin! Wish I knew you.

  2. The ugliness of yesterday’s comments created potential for a rift in our much beloved community. Let’s pull together with our neighbors to strengthen our community by getting to know each other and our different experiences rather insulting each other. We all know any one of us could have been in that spot and taken that bullet. It’s a cliche but it’s still applicable here, let’s be the change we want to see.

  3. Yet, perception isn’t always reality. I think many of us in this community mourned and put up posters asking for the ‘no snitching’ policy to end when Tyrone Love was murdered. It wasn’t divided by race as to how we felt. It was a tragedy. What happened yesterday was a tragedy and both happened in our community on the same street. And this happens to us all, every one of us who lives here.

  4. I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Justin Ferrari. I am truely sorry about this profound tragedy. I am a 39 year old married Father of a beautiful 2.5 year old daughter. I drive through this intersection going to and from work on a daily basis. The randomness of this means it could have just as easily been me, my wife, or our baby daughter. This could have been any of us that lives in the neighborhood which should help unite our neighborhood not further divide it. I am further saddened by the loss of perspective I am reading about within these blogs. At the end of the day a family lost a Father, son, husband, sibling, best friend and this needs to be the focus. It doesn’t matter if you are white, black, brown, etc….this is extremely tragic situation.

  5. RIP Justin, you’ll be missed by a lot of people. I’ll miss your wicked sense of humor, your bizarre taste in movies, and the inspirational way you raised the kids. So very, very sad today.

  6. This is too sad. I’m sure those responsible either don’t know or don’t care, just how much worse they make life for us trying to do decent and be good to our neighbors. My heart goes out to this guys kids and family. The police are really going to have to build repoire and connections with the CD if we want these shootings to stop. These are shootings happening in the middle of the day, without anyone being arrested, partially because the offenders KNOW the police are fine with people shooting eachother out here. It’s not until someone who’s automatically deemed “affluent” gets killed, that we see helicopters and news stories about it. Last summer, somebody shot at the ANTI-VIOLENCE rally at Barnett park, and that didn’t even get mentioned in the paper. I hope this isn’t a preview of the summer.

  7. Well at least the Barnett thing was coverred in the CDN. Too bad nobody cared enough to do anything about it. I’ve been out in the parks a couple evenenings per week all year. But one old white guy and his dog doesn’t do much. Where are you people? Where will you be tonight and tomorrow night while these guys are making deals on the street and in the park. In plain view if you take a look. I bet you all avoid them and yield the east half of Judkins Park. Don’t Bother walking down 26th and Dearborn area – too many in there. Let em have that ground. The meet ups where nobody goes into that store at Jackson and MLK – what’s going on there? Just buddies meeting up? ya right. This is all going on right in front of you and you do nothing. And Justin’s life wont change our do nothing ways in one little bit. Enjoy the barbeque tonight and be glad you can. Perhaps you won’t tomorrow. Hug the kids.

  8. Rest in peace Justin! While we never met we might of waved as we passed in our VW vans at one point in the neighborhood. I am saddend at the thought your children and wife will now have to travel down a much emptier road without you there. I am also saddend that your father had to hold you while your future was stolen by such a foolish act by a selfish individual. I wish your family strength and courage during this terrible time. They are not alone as they are in the arms of your family and friends as well as in the thoughts of your neighbors all over the CD.

  9. …but when you hear these stories you’re not supposed to know the victim — it’s a crime against humanity not people you enjoy. This time it’s a crime against my friend. I don’t know that I can deal with the reality of it.

  10. Grumbo, I hear what you are saying, but I honestly wonder what really can be done. For 8 years I lived not far from where this incident happened. I made a point to know my neighbors, went East Precinct meetings, regularly scrubbed off the graffit that appeared on our traffic circle signs, said hi people walking down my street, was out and about in the neighborhood and I called 911 when I saw illegal activity happening. Basically I did everything I was told to do by the police to make my neighborhood a safer place.
    Last May there was a drive by shooting in front of my house at 5:00 in the evening…a car chasing another car. I was in the line of fire and my boys were present. When the cops came I was really rattled and did my best to give them good information. They did their cursory investigation, talked to somebody who appeared on the scene afterwards and claimed it was a road rage incident and they went on their way. After things settled down and I was able to collect my thoughts and confer with another neighbor who witnessed the incident, I called the cop that gave me his business card to pass along more information. I never got a call back. I wrote to the police to provide more details and never got a response. That really hit hard.
    That incident was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I felt like a quitter for throwing in the towel. However, for my mental health we moved.
    Yesterday I was in the neighborhood when this shooting happened. Last night I was up in the wee hours thinking about this poor family that lost their father/husband/son. Today I can’t stop thinking about what can be done to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Is calling the cops really going to make a difference when you see a drug deal happening? (Unless they see the incident, they are not able to make an arrest). The woman that was firing a gun while driving down my street didn’t care that people were out and about. People were present when the shooting happened yesterday. Is simply being out and about going to deter these people?
    I lost some faith in the police department last year. I hope that they prove me wrong with this incident and get these guys off the street.
    And yes, I am hugging my kids (and my husband) extra tight today.

  11. It’s very easy to look out for people immediately after a tragedy. It’s much much harder to keep helping them long after the event.

    My wife died 8 months ago, after a 2 year illness, and I’m still missing her. I’m sure these people will grieve and ache for their father, son, husband for a long, long time, and will appreciate your small kindnesses in the long term.

    NOTE: if any of you know the family, please make them aware (at a suitable time, say in a month or so) of The Healing Center ( ) an independent non-profit which offers grief support for spouses and children. I attend their meetings and find them most helpful. In the Center’s own words: “The Healing Center is a grief-support community for adults, children and families. Our community offers a unique, long-term, multi-faceted approach to grief support, combining individual and group support with informal events and social networks.”

  12. Last night I attended the vigil on Cherry and 27th. My heart was heavy, and I had hoped my sprits would find some solace in seeing the whole community gather. I’ve never before been to a neighborhood vigil. ‘Gang’ related tragedy didn’t involve me, and frankly, I didn’t really care to hear about it. Somehow I felt that I could always point out the victim’s was culpability in his, or her, own demise.

    But yesterday’s killing was different. I felt like I had to pay respect to the innocent victim, because Justin Ferrari, was a lot like me. A father of two young children. He coached water polo; I plan on coaching Lacrosse. This shooting occurred at an intersection I drive through every day, and it occurred only a few hundred yards from my home. I could have easily been Justin.

    As I approached the crowd holding candles I thought I would see a body of humanity representing the diversity of the neighborhood. Like so many of my neighbors, I pride myself on how diverse our community is. But the cultural mosaic assembled last night lacked members of a group that are perhaps most critical in solving our community’s problem with violence. The group that statistically has the most to lose from gang violence wasn’t represented: African Americans. Why was this the case? I asked several people why they thought more Black people weren’t present, and the answers ranged from the economic limitations of being online to suggestions that their black neighbors were simply jaded to the realities of living in dangerous circumstances. All responsible points.

    However, as a black man who is a bank vice president, and one of only 3 black officers at a national bank’s Seattle offices with over 1000 employees, my experience tells me that Black and White Americans share geography, but Black and White Americans don’t share a community.

    How many of us work in offices with no few, or no African-American professionals? While visiting corporate headquarters of several large Seattle area based companies I was struck by the fact that I saw very few, or in some cases, no African-Americans working in professional level positions. For a region that prides itself on it’s deep blue political status and for a City that promotes it’s diversity, and for a City that views itself as ahead of the political curve in terms of political inclusiveness, Seattle has a great deal of work to do. African Americans are sorely under represented in all categories of ‘good’ jobs in this city.

    In any society, the existence of a disenfranchised or a marginally franchised group always increases the likelihood of violence. I don’t know what lead to yesterday’s argument and subsequent shooting, but I do know that the probability of criminal behavior increases when there is a group that is over 50% unemployment, is poorly educated, and feels its prospects for progress are non-existent. Many of us moved to CD because we sought the diversity. We didn’t want to live in a homogenous east side suburb. But somehow, many of us tolerate working in homogenously staffed Seattle businesses. We perpetuate privilege and the disenfranchisement by hiring friends and turning a blind eye to opening an opportunity to someone who needs a helping hand to get started. If we lack diversity at the office water cooler. How do we share experience? Build bonds? And how do we develop a shared sense of incorporation?

  13. My heart breaks for his family. His poor parents, Can you imagine cradling your son as he died from a rogue bullet on a public street? And his poor children were in the car as their dad lay dying. This is the most horrific of horrific. I couldn’t imagine losing my husband so quickly and tragically, or having my children watch me die, or holding my son as he takes his last breath. I hope anyone who even thinks they know anything comes forwards as soon as possible. This family does not deserve to not know who senselessly killed their loved one.

  14. Very true R.G. Very true. And the truth is I have given up. I tried to have friends and support my black associates. But I’ll be damned if time after time they didn’t turn on me. The work place is challenging. Things happen. Mistakes are made and somebody either made it or gets the blame for it. We have hard feelings until the next good thing happens or until somebody else makes a mistake. Problem is that some people pull out the race card and their is no way back from that cliff. I stay well away from the race card now. If there were anyone in my office I would choose my watr cooler carefully. Burn me several times and I learn. Stay away from people with torches.

  15. “Black and White Americans share geography, but Black and White Americans don’t share a community.”

    Very true. It is almost impossible to have honest dialogue without a level of trust (which requires overcoming the preexisting distrust and building trust). There are so many things that are just not said; and if they are, people resort to name-calling which pretty much works to end further dialogue and potential for relationship or community.

  16. You stated in the precise way that I was afraid to state it to myself. So heart wrenching…

  17. Remember we don’t have to agree on everything to work together for a safe place for everyone. We don’t have to agree on everything to feel sad about this incident. No family would want this happen. Remember anyone or no one could have been in the path of the bullet.

  18. RG’s post is one of the most sensible ones I’ve read so far. I think this should be posted to Seattle Times.

  19. Well former. You really have done everything a sane person can do. So what next? Typically I would be deleted for expressing my next opinions. Of course the answers are yup insane.

    First of all, still withing sanity I say that if we alllll were out doing like you do it would work. But that isn’t going to happen. One family has been hurt and the rest of us will bury the thought as soon as we can.

    Unless you become terminally angry like me. I’ve seen so much of this crap that I no longer care about the norms we all stay in. The only reason I don’t come off the rails completely is I can’t actually tell who the bad guys are, for certain. Pretty much, but, The most shameful thing in the world is falsely accusing and imprisoning (or worse) innocent people. So in the end I do stay in bounds.

    What I suggest though is we move the boundaries. We acutally become confrontational people. We go yell at the gangs. We travel in groups and harrass them. We chase them out. Of course we would need non-yellers in the group, standing to the side and ready to draw and fire.

  20. This sounds like a worn out excuse and a very weak explanation that does little to justify one of our community members losing his life. People who decide to do things like go to public school and get a job and possibly buy a house and maybe raise a family typically aren’t doing so because they are receiving handouts. They do so because they want to be responsible, contributing members of a society, one of which was just tragically lost. You think these coward thugs want the helping hand you suggest should be offered to them? Their handout is when we all pay for them to spend time in jail.

  21. To RG,

    You ask why more people of color weren’t at the vigil on thursday night. You then quite eloquently explain some of the subtle and not so subtle effects of workplace and neighborhood racial dynamics. We all know there is still discrimination in the work force. It bothers me that blacks are under represented in the more “professional” jobs.

    However, I’m not sure that’s a good excuse for why so few blacks showed up on thursday to show their support. Two wrongs don’t make a right. This is everyone’s neighborhood. And everyone should care what happens to anyone in it, regardless of color. Those poor kids who lost a father, are surely not responsible for the discrimination in our country against blacks. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of whites who showed their support for Trayvon Martin. I hope there will be more people of color at the meeting today at 12:30.

  22. Is there any info on the funeral? It would be great if neighbors could turn out with signs of support.

  23. Per the Seattle times there is a prayer vigil today
    “A group of pastors is planning a prayer vigil this afternoon at the site of a Thursday shooting in the Central Area that killed a father of two. Minister Greg Banks said the planned gathering is a chance for people to come together and pray for the victim and his family, the perpetrator, and the community. They will meet near the site of the shooting at East Cherry Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way from 12:30-1:30 Saturday.”

  24. people are confusing Prevention with the immediate arrest and prosecution of these criminals.

    prevention does need to account for all of the sociological factors that create this type of behavior, and 1 of these factors is a complete lack of ethical or moral character in these thugs. and yes, another is poverty, and poor education and lack of parenting, etc.

    but in the short term, crime is crime, regardless of race of victim or criminal. we need more police and more witnesses. and maybe more cameras on major streets and intersections? at least we can catch them quicker when something like this happens and prevent the next killing?

    watch this video to demonstrate the kind of thugs that are out there. in any area of puget sound, this can happen. Two blocks South of Seatac from a couple of yrs ago: 4 guys jumped out of a car and started shooting at a Cadilac from all four sides at the same time. One of the guys was shooting a AK47 ,,,,at an intersection while all the cars were stopped in traffic. To this day I don’t know how 50+ rounds were fired and yet no one else got hurt. They caught them thx to videos like this one.

    i’m willing to pay more taxes for more police…where do i send the check? the city should hire 100 more officers – hopefully black or other minorities , and station them in the CD and RainierbValley asap.

  25. From Turlock, CA. Deeply saddened to hear about this outrageous violence that has resulted in a Turlock native dying in the prime of his life.

  26. My condolences to the Ferrari family. May it help you to know that death was not in God’s plan (Romans 5:12) yet rest assure God knows your pain and will soon do something about because he love you and your family. I know this will not bring your love one back but God can and will bring all those in his memory back, so soon you may again enjoy him and he doing again the things he love. I hope this bring you some comfort in your great time of need.