The text came a little after 8pm on Thursday night. One of my close friends who lives near North 46th and Ferdinand sent the following message: ‘Wow. Someone just shot up our neighborhood!’ I quickly called him. He told me that he was working in the back yard when he heard a series of gunshots then silence, then a few more gunshots. He went inside the house and told his wife and infant son to get on the floor. He then went into the bedroom, got his pistol, and locked the doors.
Outside what had happened was that a neighbor had fired off his pistol from his back porch before walking up and directly confronting 55-year-old neighbor Frank Rossiter, Jr. He then shot and killed Frank and threatened other neighbors before leaving the area. The shooter was a known heavy drinker who neighbors called ‘a bit crazy’.
Tacoma police swarmed the area and would later discover the shooter went to a friend’s house in Gig Harbor where he killed himself.
Frank Rossiter, Jr. by all accounts was a well liked guy. He was the father of a 12-year-old boy. He liked fishing. His son and my friend’s older son are friends.
This is the sixth homicide this year in the City of Tacoma. Sadly, this is about average for our city. Most years we have between 12-15 homicides. Each loss is felt by hundreds of friends and families. In this case a boy has lost his father. The purpose of this site is to focus more on the victim than the perpetrator because the shooter tends to get most of the attention from the media.
On Saturday I had dinner with my friend. We talked about the recent murder. While not a close friend of the victim, he knew of him. My friend mentioned that his older son told him after the murder that the shooter would frequently threaten to shoot kids who cut through his yard. His son had never bothered to tell him until after the murder. Every neighborhood has a crazy guy in it. Unfortunately this one was actually dangerous.
As always, the comments section is reserved for friends and family of the victim. Share your thoughts and memories of Frank with us. His Tacoma Story deserves to be told.
– Jack Cameron
Thanks for posting this. We’re so sad for the son, who thankfully was not home at the time. This tragedy makes me realize that I don’t know our neighbors well enough. I’m inviting some over for dinner.
I worked for many years with Frank in the legal field. He had his own business as a process server. He was professional and a very hard worker. He was a great guy, always smiling, talking about his sons, going fishing, and every year he would make salmon balls during Christmas and sell them to us. All of us held him in high regard. I am so saddened. Frank is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever known. My prayers and love are with his family. I am so sorry.
I grew up with Frank and his family, just a few homes away in Fircrest. I am beyond sad and disturbed by this event. My heart goes out to his family, I am so sorry that this has happened to yet another family. Just hits way to close to home. Seemed preventable, this guy should have been in an institution for the mentally disturbed at the very least. I haven’t seen Frank in years, since I moved out of state 20 years ago, but remember him well, always a nice guy, even in our terrible teens years! This has made my whole family sick and sad
Frank (The Duke) will be missed. I always looked forward to the Duke’s next joke. The jokes were never good, but with the Duke telling them they brought laughter to everyone (I think he made up most of his jokes). We always ended our conversations with “I love you, man”, and he meant it. I’ve spent many hours with Frank, fishing, having a beer or watching sports. I never thought that would go away. My deepest condolences to the Rossiter family; Frank Sr, Trudy, Debbie, Judy, and Tristan (Tristano). Frank will forever me missed by all of us, his friends and extended families, whose numbers go far beyond counting. We will all feel a void forever but will cherish every memory. I love you man.
To know Frank was to love Frank and that showed today as so many of us came together to honor him. The Hugs that he gave and the quality of time shared will always be with us. Peace and love to each of us and of course to the entire Rossiter family as we continue to heal.
Thank you for having this positive blog place to visit.
I will never forget the look on his face the moment I handed him his little baby boy. Never before have I seen a love and joy so great and so true, nor since. Frank was a beautiful man who deserved to see his boy grow up. Bonnie and Tristan, If you read this, just know I am sending my love and prayers to you, and know that frank is watching over all of us, I believe he was my guardian angel while I was in Alaska fishing this year…no doubt about it. Thank you for being such a wonderful person, Frank.
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