Monthly Archives: January 2008

I missed one. 15th Homicide of 2007

In the three years I’ve been doing this, I’ve managed to write about every homicide that has occurred in Tacoma. Unfortunately, this past year I missed one. To his friends and family, I apologize for the oversight.


Teofilo Knight was 28 years old. He worked as a bouncer at Champions Sports Bar in nearby Lakewood. Bouncers work late. It was around four in the morning when Teofilo returned home from work to his apartment on South 58th Street. Neighbors report hearing his car arrive and multiple gunshots shortly after that. He never made it to his apartment. Teofilo was taken to Madigan Army Medical Center where he later died from his wounds.


There were no witnesses to this crime and no leads. It remains one of only two unsolved homicides for Tacoma in 2007.


I wish there were more to write about this, but there really isn’t. Crimes like these are among the most difficult to solve. There isn’t any apparent motive and no reliable witnesses. The only real hope for a case like this is that whoever is responsible tells someone with a conscience what happened. Here’s hoping 2008 brings justice for Teofilo Knight.


On a different note, I’d like to mention that I’ve considered stopping this ongoing report of homicides that happen in Tacoma. However, I’ve chosen to continue because of the emails I’ve received from family and friends of the victims. They’ve thanked me for memorializing their loved one, told me things about these citizens whose lives were cut short, and corrected me when I was wrong about a detail or overstepped in any way. These people are part of the history of Tacoma and they deserve to be remembered.


Also this year, I’ll also be attempting to add more content not related to homicides or crime. It occurred to me the other day that I probably have the only site on the net that only gets updated when someone is actually killed. So I’ll try to update more often with better things about the City of Destiny. Suggestions are welcome.


If you need to contact me for any reason, feel free to write at


Thanks for reading.


Last Homicide of 2007 Melissa Arizola

On the afternoon of Christmas Day 34-year-old Melissa Arizola found her long time boyfriend holding a gun to his head. He had recently moved to Tacoma from Mexico. Her three children were in the house. Melissa attempted to grab the gun from her boyfriend and was shot during the struggle.


Her boyfriend and another man took her to an area hospital where she died three hours later. At first the boyfriend told police he was downstairs when he heard the gunshot upstairs. He later changed his story. He’s been arrested and charged with first degree manslaughter.

Melissa Arizola is the fifteenth and last homicide of 2007 for the city of Tacoma and a tragic one at that. When I transcribed police reports for the Tacoma Police Department, the first thing I noticed was the alarming number of suicides that were happening in my city and that with the exception of friends and family of the deceased, no one was noticing.


Personally I’ve always been of the opinion that everyone has a right to end their own life. It’s unfortunate that anyone does it, but I view suicides as substantially less tragic than homicides because at least the deceased had a choice. Melissa had a choice too and she chose to try to save the man she loved from ending his own life and paid for it with hers.


So long 2007. Here’s hoping 2008 will be less bloody.