Monthly Archives: May 2019

Ninth Tacoma Homicide of 2019: Phyllis Hamilton

Phyllis Hamilton

52-year-old Phyllis Hamilton lived with her two sons (ages 26 and 27) in a house in the 1400 Block of South Madison Street. She was an avid reader and absolutely devoted to her sons.

On the evening of April 29th, something happened inside the house to set off her 27-year-old son. He burst into his brother’s room carrying a shotgun and wearing a bandoleer of shotgun shells. His brother was so afraid that he climbed out the window onto the roof and ran down the alley. The oldest son then set off in his mother’s Cadillac SUV trying to chase down his brother firing at least once.

Police pulled over the SUV and arrested the man. Then they headed back to his mother’s home where they discovered Phyllis Hamilton dead from multiple gunshot wounds. Phyllis is the ninth Tacoma homicide this year.

Phyllis was a practicing Jehovah’s Witness. Friends say she was incredibly sweet.

If there is a pattern in the sharp increase in homicides this year, it is the sheer senselessness of the killings. Again and again I find myself writing about a crime that simply should not have happened.

As always, the comment section is moderated and reserved for friends and family who knew Phyllis and want to share memories.

– Jack Cameron

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Eighth Tacoma Homicide of 2019: James ‘Jimmy’ Mureness

James Mureness

In the early morning hours of April 23rd, 43-year-old James ‘Jimmy’ Mureness was at a bus stop in the 2900 block of East D Street with a friend when a 23-year-old man in a hoodie approached them. Hours earlier the man had fired multiple shots into his ceiling. Police were called, but he had left by then. The man in the hoodie said nothing to Jimmy and his friend and left, then came back moments later and shot them both before running away.

Jimmy’s friend survived. Jimmy wasn’t so lucky. Jimmy Mureness is the eighth Tacoma homicide this year.

Police caught up with the shooter later that same evening. He shot himself in the forehead, but only received minor injuries from the shot. After being treated for his injuries, he was arrested and charged with first degree murder and first degree attempted murder.

Statements made by the shooter were inconsistent and contradictory, calling his mental well being into question, but whatever the explanation, the loss of life is still devastating for his friends and family.

Jimmy’s family lives in upstate New York. They have a GoFundMe set up to offset costs of having his body and belongings shipped back east. You can donate here:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/memorial-for-james-mureness

As always, the comment section is moderated and reserved for those who knew Jimmy and want to share memories of him.

– Jack Cameron