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