Monthly Archives: May 2021

23rd Tacoma Homicide of 2020: Dylan Coolidge

Dylan Coolidge was the kind of kid who made friends wherever he went. He was 19-years-old. While he was in a juvenile facility, he made friends with another kid who was in a rival gang. On the evening of September 21st, Dylan received a message from that friend that he wanted to hang out. Dylan and another friend made their way to South 23rd and M Street not knowing it was a set up. A sedan pulled up. A 15-year-old boy in the passenger seat fired four shots. Dylan and his friend scattered, but Dylan got shot in the abdomen. As the car sped off, Dylan’s friend yelled for neighbors to call 911. Dylan was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he later died from his wounds. The 15-year-old was eventually arrested and has been charged with first degree murder. Dylan is the twenty-third Tacoma homicide this year.

In the 1990s a shooting like this on Tacoma’s Hilltop would be fairly commonplace, but times have changed and these sorts of shootings are the exceptions rather than the rule. That said, the violence in Tacoma has begun to swing back towards the chaos on the 1990s.

With so many homicides, it’s sometimes difficult to keep in mind how much each one impacts the victim’s friends, family, and surrounding community. And while some people may want to dismiss a drive-by shooting by a rival gang as gang violence, those people should be reminded of the human cost. Dylan was 19-years-old. We’ll never know the kind of man he would have grown up to be. And the people who knew him will never replace his laugh, which was infectious and will never be heard again.

As always, the comments section is moderated and reserved for those who knew and liked Dylan Coolidge and want to share thoughts or memories of him.

  • Jack Cameron

22nd Tacoma Homicide of 2020: Terrence Wilkins

It was nearly midnight on Friday August 14th when three men in masks approached a homeless camp in the 6600 block of Alaska Avenue. One stood watch while the other two brandished handguns and robbed multiple people. One of those people was 39-year-old Terrence Wilkins. By all accounts Terry, as his friends called him, tried to diffuse the situation and keep people safe. For his heroism, the two men with guns shot him in the chest. He died becoming the twenty-second Tacoma homicide of 2020.

Terrence was an artist and loved to draw. People say he was a loving, caring person who found comfort in his religion, always happy to pray with someone. His absence is felt among his community and his contribution to our city will not be forgotten. Terrence’s killers have yet to be brought to justice.

As always, the comments section is reserved for those who knew Terry and want to share thoughts or memories of him.

  • Jack Cameron

21st Tacoma Homicide of 2020: Jake Red

Jake Red was twenty-eight years old. He was born in New Orleans, the oldest of four children. He was funny and outgoing. People tended to like Jake Red when they met him. On August 12th he was hanging out with friends when one of them accused him of sleeping with that friend’s children’s mother. He hadn’t and said so. The conversation then drifted to other topics. Later in the day, at around 5pm, the friend pulled up alongside a vehicle Jake was riding in. He asked Jake why he wasn’t answering his cellphone. The two vehicles pulled into a parking lot on South 64th and Yakima so the three men could talk. The friend again accused Jake of being involved with that man’s children’s mother. Jake again denied it. The friend then retrieved a handgun and said, “I think you’re playing me.” And then he started shooting.

The man in the SUV with Jake returned fire with his own gun as the friend fled. The man then began to drive to get Jake help. Police arrived moments later, but by that time Jake had died from gunshot wounds to his neck, back, and stomach. Jake is the twenty-first Tacoma homicide this year.

Jake’s killer was found a few hours later hiding under a vehicle where he shot a police dog before being shot himself by police sustaining non-life-threatening injuries.

The resulting media coverage of Jake’s murder and its aftermath focused more on Ranja the police dog than Jake Red. And while I’m sure there’s a real loss within the police department in Ranja’s death, there is no comparison to be made to the depth of loss of Jake Red. Jake had a family, friends, and loved ones. He loved children though he never had a chance to have any himself.

The comments section is reserved for friends and family of Jake Red to share thoughts and memories of him. He is not forgotten.

  • Jack Cameron