It took Tacoma six days to kill its first murder victim of 2006. Eighteen-year-old Donald H. George was riding his bicycle down East 40th Street at 2:25am this morning when an uknown gunman shot and killed him. George was taken to St. Joseph’s hospital and was pronounced dead just before 3:00am. Police believe the shooting may be gang related.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Depertment has a joke about Tacoma: "If you’re shot in Tacoma, crawl your ass out of the city limits so that your murder might be solved." Like all jokes, it’s based on fact. Unless you are killed by a particularly stupid person, the odds of a Tacoma Homicide Detective solving your murder aren’t very good. And if you happen to be unlucky enough to get shot on the East Side in early pre-dawn hours with no witnesses, well, it sucks to be you.
More often than not when a murder is solved in Tacoma it’s because someone confessed or there were so many witnesses that it’s impossible for the guy to get away with it. I don’t know if this is the fault of the police department or not. A few years back an old friend from Elementary School by the name of Tealano Truijio was murdered after he chased down some guys breaking into his car. I asked one of the detectives about the case and he said, "The only persons who’s not a f*cking suspect is the g*ddamn victim." Not surprisingly his murder was never solved.
I’m going to attempt to list every murder in Tacoma this year and whether or not it’s been solved just as an experiment.