Terric Davis’ life ended in Tacoma last night after only three years on this planet. A little after 11pm, his mother took him to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital because her child was having trouble breathing. An examination showed signs of blunt force trauma to the head and abdomen, clear signs of abuse. Twenty minutes later, Terric Davis’ died. His mother’s boyfriend has been arrested in connection with the murder. Terric’s 2-year-old sister was taken into protective custody by police.
This is the fifth Tacoma homicide this year and the second Tacoma homicide in which the mother’s boyfriend murdered a toddler. A little over a month ago two-year-old Chayson Colley-Jones was murdered.
I would love to write more about Terric’s life, to tell you of all of the friends he made, the things he accomplished, and the dreams he had. Unfortunately, these things will never be known and never happened and cannot be written about. These Tacoma stories have been stolen from all of us and we are all a little poorer because of it.
- Jack Cameron
Two-year-old Chayson Colley-Jones spent his last night in a downtown apartment building on Saturday, March 30th. His mother was going out to celebrate her birthday. Chayson was being watched by his mother’s 19-year-old boyfriend who had moved in five weeks earlier. At 4am Sunday morning someone called the police because they saw the boyfriend with a badly injured Chayson in the lobby of the apartment building.
The police arrived and found Chayson not breathing. His mother’s boyfriend told them that the child had fallen. Chayson was taken to the hospital where he died hours later. His injuries were extensive and extreme. The two-year-old’s blood alcohol level at the time of his death was .12. There was also evidence that he’d been raped. The boyfriend has been arrested and charged for his crimes.
It’s difficult to imagine a worse crime than the death of Chayson Colley-Jones. There is no rational understanding of horrific final hours of Chayson. Murders such as this are often shown as an example of why we must continue to have the death penalty. Here in Washington we still have the death penalty and that did not deter Chayson’s murderer which may be just as powerful an argument against such a practice.
Chayson’s murder is tragic. He was someone who never got to show Tacoma what he could have been. He has been lost to us and the city is a little worse off for it. The only consolation is that the person responsible has been apprehended and that events such as this are rare.
Typically I ask that comments be left strictly for those who have memories to share of Chayson. Sadly, I fear his life was far too short for any comments at all. If friends or family of Chayson are reading this, please share your favorite memories with us. My thoughts are with you.
Rest in peace, Chayson. You are not forgotten.
- Jack Cameron
It’s been brutally cold lately in Tacoma. The other night I walked from my house to my friend’s without a coat. His place is just four houses away. I was so cold when I got there that I stayed for an hour just to warm up. A little over two miles away on Saturday morning, 23-year-old Tyliah Young was found in an alleyway near S. 12th and Ainsworth. Her body was frozen. There was frozen blood present causing police to believe it was not the elements that killed her. Today the medical examiner released her cause of death as multiple gunshots to the head.
Tyliah was from New York and had talked of going back there where she had family. Friends and family say she was a happy person. She had two young daughters.
Some people will say that a homicide on Tacoma’s Hilltop is nothing new. They will say that it’s an area famous for violent crime. And they’re right about that much. However, Hilltop’s reputation is far worse than the reality. In the years since the gang and crime filled days of the early 1990s, Hilltop has emerged as a better neighborhood full of new businesses and an active community. As a life-long citizen of Tacoma, there was a time when I wouldn’t even drive in Hilltop at night. Now, I feel safe walking those same streets.
Tacoma’s first homicide of 2013 is tragic and here’s hoping it’s one of the few this year. As always, the comments section is reserved for friends and family if they want to share thoughts or stories about Tyliah for others to read. I’m sorry for your loss.
Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for Tyliah’s murder. http://www.tpcrimestoppers.com/case.php?id=555
- Jack Cameron
A woman called the police from her house in the 3500 block of Fawcett Avenue a little after 9:30pm on Saturday night. She said that her 22-year-old daughter, Sophia had fired multiple gunshots inside the house and may have killed herself. Police responded and tried to talk with Sophia but she would not respond. She had a handgun in her hand and walked down the stairs approaching the officers. One of the officers opened fire, killing her. Sophia Strickland became the 14th Tacoma homicide of 2012.
This is the third Tacoma Police involved shooting this year. As always, the comments section is reserved for friends and family of the victim to share memories of Sophia. Lately, some comments on other posts have been the sort that blame or attack the shooter. This is not the place for that. My purpose in writing about these homicides is to make sure that the memory of those who were taken from Tacoma are remembered and not just mentioned on the news for a day or two and forgotten.
Though we’ll never know what Sophia’s intent was when walking down those stairs, I believe that people are more than whatever their last moments were. My heart goes out to her friends and family.
- Jack Cameron
Early Tuesday morning six people in a Honda on Tacoma’s East Side. They’d spent most of the evening drinking and partying. At some point, an argument erupted between two people in the car. Both had guns. Around 1am, shots were fired in the car. The car crashed into a fence in the 6200 block of McKinley Avenue. One woman was injured and 20-year-old Tristan Dillard was dead from a gunshot wound to the head.
At this time the shooter has not been arrested as it is being determined whether or not the shooting was self-defense. Police say that the shooter is being entirely cooperative.
This is the thirteenth Tacoma homicide this year. From the sounds of things, this was a tragic incident that should not have happened. As always, the comments section is reserved for those who knew the victim and want to share their memories of him.
- Jack Cameron
Last Tuesday 40-year-old Patrick Nicholas was at a storage facility on Sprague with his wife and another couple. The two men got into an argument. According to charging documents Patrick reached in his pocket. The other man shot him once but thought he had missed and shot him a second time. When police arrived, Patrick was found with a gun in his pocket.
The man who shot Patrick has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. This is the eleventh homicide of 2012 in the city of Tacoma. Typically the city averages about one homicide a month. More often than not, they seem to be situations in which an argument erupts into something much more violent.
As always, the comments section is reserved for those who knew Patrick. Here’s hoping his death is the last for the year.
- Jack Cameron
Early Sunday morning, 45-year-old David Watson got in his pick-up truck and went looking for his dog. He apparently found his dog and stopped at a convenience store on S. 56th and S. Lawrence Street. While he sat in his pick-up truck somebody shot him. David then drove a couple of blocks before veering off the road. Neighbors reported the revving truck engine. David was found dead behind the wheel. His dog was with him. Surveillance cameras show two men running away from the pick up truck at the convenience store. Police are currently looking for these two men.
By all accounts this wasn’t a robbery or a drug deal gone bad. No one seems to know what exactly led to this tenth homicide in Tacoma this year. What is known is that David Watson will be missed and that his friends and family as well as this site hope that his killer is brought to justice soon.
As always, the comments section is reserved for those who knew David to share with us who he was and remember him. I approve every comment on this site so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t pop up right away. Here’s hoping this is the last Tacoma homicide this year.
UPDATE: A 16-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the death of David Watson. Reports say that the boy and another 16-year-old boy confronted David demanding his possessions. He reportedly laughed at them and attempted to grab the gun and was shot during the confrontation.
- Jack Cameron
In the early morning hours of Thursday, October 25th, Robert Meline’s 29-year-old son drank a cup of coffee. Two years earlier he’d been released from Western State Mental hospital for treatment of paranoid schizophrenia. He was deemed ‘no longer an imminent threat to himself or those around him.’ Earlier in the week he’d bought a hatchet and told Robert Meline that he was going to kill him.
At just after two in the morning Robert Meline was attacked and killed by his son wielding a hatchet. He was 56 years old. Robert’s screams woke his daughter who found her brother on the stairs carrying a bloody hatchet. She then took her brother down the Pierce County Jail to turn himself in.
Robert was a sixth grade teacher in Bethel School District. By all accounts he was well liked and an all around positive person. He had been with the school district for over twenty years.
It would be easy to cast blame on Western State and the status of our mental health facilities but unfortunately it’s not a simple problem that can be fixed easily and not every dangerous individual appears to be such before something violent happens.
As always, the comments section is reserved for those who knew and remember Robert Meline and want to share with us what he was like.
- Jack Cameron
30-year-old Jimmy Arevalo was at house party in the 2000 block of South 29th Street on Saturday night. In the early hours of Sunday morning a stranger arrived in a light colored SUV. Witnesses say that he wasn’t known to them but may have arrived with someone else. Jimmy and the stranger got into some sort of argument that ended when the stranger pulled out a gun and shot once into the ground and multiple times into Jimmy Arevalo.
As of this writing, no one has been arrested and no suspect has been identified. It is thought that Jimmy did not know his killer. This marks the eighth homicide in Tacoma this year. Typically we are closer to twelve or thirteen by this point in the year. Not that a lower crime rate does anything for the grieving families of those who are taken from us.
As always, the comments section is reserved for those who knew Jimmy to share whatever they want to share about Jimmy and his life.
Here’s hoping Jimmy’s killer is caught and caught quickly.
UPDATE: Police have made an arrest in the killing of Jimmy Arevalo.
- Jack Cameron
On the afternoon of Friday, June 1st, 15-year-old Hector Hernandez-Valdez went over to a 16-year-old acquaintance’s house in the 800 block of E. 52nd. He was two blocks away from his home. Court papers say he went over there to smoke marijuana. While going upstairs, the two of them got into a fight. The older boy had a knife and stabbed Hector in the head. The older boy’s 14-year-old brother heard the fight and joined in, stabbing Hector in the neck with a large nail. The two brothers then moved Hector to a bathtub, slashed his throat, and stabbed him a total of 34 times.
The boys’ mother arrived home while the boys were cleaning up. She found bloodstained towels in her living room. Initially her sons told her they were cleaning up chili, but eventually showed her Hector’s body. The boys’ mother drove to the police station to report the murder. When she and the police arrived, Hector’s body had been moved to inside a recycling bin. The police questioned the boys and then took them into custody. It is likely they will both be tried as adults. Hector had on him $166 and less than 40 grams of pot which was taken by his killers.
This is the sixth homicide in Tacoma this year and the third one with a teenage victim in the past twelve months. As the father of a teenager, these deaths are particularly tragic to me. I’d love to say that back in my day we didn’t do things like that, but the truth is Tacoma’s crime rate for teenagers was worse when I was a teenager in the mid-90s. That doesn’t lessen the tragedy of deaths like Hector’s. These are our children. The last thing in the world they should have to worry about is being murdered.
And all too often, like in this case, the killers are also young. It’s relatively easy to point fingers at society, video games, music, or parents, but the bottom line is this crime was committed by two teenagers who are responsible for their actions and are being held responsible. My heart goes out to all of the families involved.
As always, the comments section is reserved for those who knew and remember Hector. It is moderated by me and no negative comments will be accepted. There are plenty of other places on the web for that unfortunately.
- Jack Cameron