Monthly Archives: December 2012

Fourteenth Tacoma Homicide of 2012: Sophia Strickland

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

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Thirteenth Tacoma Homicide of 2012: Tristan Dillard

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

Twelfth Tacoma Homicide of 2012: Michael Crawford

Monday night two Lakewood officers were patrolling Gravelly Lake Drive near I-5 in a patrol car when they spotted a stolen vehicle. The vehicle got onto I-5 heading North. The police officers chased the vehicle until it got off on the East Portland Avenue exit. Shortly after that, the police were able to do a maneuver to stop the stolen vehicle. At this time, according to police reports, the man in the car opened fire on them. The officers returned fire hitting 35-year-old Michael Crawford. Last night Michael died from his injuries. No police officers were hurt.

This marks the twelfth Tacoma homicide of 2012 and the second police involved homicide. We’ll likely never know all of the details that led to Michael choosing to open fire on police officers. Especially given recent local history, he had to know that doing so was a no-win situation. My heart goes out to both Michael’s family and the officers involved in the shooting. One of the reasons I include police involved shootings in the homicides I write about is that too often the media defines someone by their final act. Michael Crawford was certainly more than a car thief. As always, the comments section is reserved for those who knew Michael and want to share their memories with us.

–          Jack Cameron

Eleventh Tacoma Homicide of 2012 Patrick Nicholas

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