In the early morning hours of Saturday April 16th, 23-year-old Marquel Bradley was standing on near East 35th and L Street with a group of other people. At around 3:45am, a couple in a Dodge Avenger showed up. Survelience video shows that someone fired a shot at the car. One of the people in the car got out and shot into the group of people. There were at least 71 shots fired over the course of a minute. When the shooting was over, the couple in the vehicle drove a few blocks before their car with twelve bullet holes, a flat tire, and a steaming engine stopped working. They were soon arrested. Back at the scene of the shooting Marquel Bradley who was unarmed and had fired no shots at all had been shot in the head. He was taken to St. Joseph’s Medical in critical condition.
Marquel Bradley died ten days later. He was a family man with a six-year-old daughter and a fiancé with another child on the way. He would walk his daughter to and from school every day. Friends and family say he was funny. He had a real presence when he walked into the room.
Marquel is the sixth Tacoma homicide this year and the second homicide this year on Tacoma’s East Side. East Side residents have been fighting a battle for their neighborhoods for most of my life. It’s an area full of lower middle class residents who want what’s best for the community. Recently the community came up with plans for a new East Side Community Center. It will include water slides, a recording studio, a teaching kitchen, and a 300-person social hall. You can find out more about this at http://www.ImagineEastSide.org
We cannot bring Marquel Bradley back, but we can help make sure his children and our own grow up with a better East Side.
As always, the comments section is moderated and reserved for friends and family of Marquel. Marquel’s mother has put up a GoFundMe page to help with the costs of his funeral and his young family. Here’s the link: https://www.gofundme.com/2fcegmdv
– Jack Cameron
Last Friday night three people near the corner of South 48th and Yakima Street were shot. Near midnight they all arrived at the emergency room under their own transportation. One was treated and released. One had more substantial but non-life-threatening injuries and the third, 30-year-old Ryan Wilkinson died the following morning from his injuries.
Ryan was the father of a baby girl born a few months ago and seen in this photo. His friends say he was very loving and friendly and will be dearly missed.
The survivors of the shooting have been entirely uncooperative with authorities and so at this time not much more is known about the events or the circumstances surrounding those events. Authorities say that this was not a random act of violence and that the victims were specifically targeted.
This is the fifth homicide in the city of Tacoma this year making this year’s toll significantly higher than previous years. By this time in 2014 there had only been one homicide.
As always, the comments section is moderated and reserved for those who knew Ryan and might want to share stories or memories about him. Any negative comments will not be tolerated or accepted. Also if any friends or family have a photo they would like to share, you can email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Jack Cameron
On the evening of March 13th, 39-year-old Maluelue Fitiao and his girlfriend were in his bedroom of his place in the 7400 block of McKinley Avenue. His male roommate had invited a few people over. The gathering got loud. Maluelue repeatedly asked them to keep quiet. According to charging papers, he eventually came out of the bedroom with a folding knife and demanded that everyone leave.
At this point a 27-year-old pulled out a .40 caliber pistol. The 27-year-old’s brother was in the next room. He pulled his 9mm pistol as well. What happened next isn’t entirely clear. Maluelue’s girlfriend came out of the bedroom. Witnesses say she grabbed another woman by the neck. Moments later the 21-year-old claims that Maluelue swung the knife at his brother at which point the 21-year-old opened fire. The two brothers fired a total of eleven shots. One narrowly missed a 10-year-old sleeping in another room. Maluelue was dead before emergency responders could arrive. His girlfriend was wounded.
The brothers left the scene, ditched their guns, and were later apprehended. Because Maluelue was armed with a knife prosecutors have declined to file homicide charges in his death though both brothers face weapons charges and one is being charged with the shooting of Maluelue’s girlfriend.
Maluelue’s friends called him ‘Lue’. They say he was a ‘gentle giant’. His death is senseless and demonstrates how quickly things can needlessly escalate when weapons are involved.
As always, the comments section is reserved for those who knew Lue and want to share thoughts or memories of him.
– Jack Cameron
On the Friday morning of January 29th on Tacoma’s South Side two police officers recognized a known fugitive sitting in the passenger seat of a car in the 3300 block of South Sawyer Street. In the driver’s seat was 32-year-old Jacqueline Salyers. When the officers attempted to approach the car, Jacqueline hit the gas. As the car barreled towards them, one officer fired at the car hitting Jacqueline with one bullet. The fugitive escaped on foot carrying a rifle and as of this writing has not yet been apprehended. The officers called for paramedics but Jacqueline died on the scene.
This is Tacoma second homicide this year and the first police involved shooting this year. Some have asked me why I count police involved homicides. The reason for this is that even when it is justified a life taken is a life taken. I would include vehicular homicides, but that gets fairly complicated. Ultimately, I’m a big believer in the thought that we are not just the worst things people know about us. There is a fairly small but vocal group that feels otherwise and thinks a criminal is a criminal. I know that a criminal is often a mother, a daughter, a dear friend, or a sister. Sometimes that ‘criminal’ isn’t even a criminal.
My point here is that at TacomaStories I focus on the victim and what was right with the victim. I try to write articles imagining the victim can read it. I wasn’t able to discover much about Jacqueline. As always, I leave it to those who knew her to share stories and memories of her in the comments section. All comments are moderated by me.
– Jack Cameron
Name: Dylan Lee Oman
Date of Homicide: January 11, 2016
Location of Incident: Brown’s Point Blvd. & Mc Murray Road
Method of death: Shot
It’s 2016. I started writing about Tacoma Homicides back in 2006. This will be year eleven. And unfortunately this year didn’t even get into its second week before we lost another Tacoman to homicide. Another shooting. Another teenager. Another soul who will never reach their potential. This is the seventh teenager killed in Tacoma in the last year.
Dylan Lee Oman was a likable kid from Northeast Tacoma. He attended Stadium High School at one point. That’s where my son met him. They weren’t close, but they knew each other well enough. Dylan liked to help people.
In the early morning hours of January 11th, Dylan had joined a couple of friends in a car. They were going to find another friend who had fallen in with a bad crowd. At around 3:30am there was a confrontation. Shots were fired. Dylan was hit twice. He died later at the hospital.
Northeast Tacoma isn’t known for violent crime, but if there’s one thing covering homicides has taught me, it’s that no neighborhood is immune to crime.
As with so many murders of young people, I don’t have much I can share with you about Dylan. Like any teenager, he was nothing but potential. We will never know what we’ve truly lost with his death.
At the time of this writing, there have been no arrests in this case. People with any information are asked to call the Tacoma Police Department at 253-798-4721
As always the comments section is reserved for those who knew the victim and want to share memories or thoughts about the victim. The comment section is moderated and each comment is approved before it is posted.
I’m sure you can imagine this sudden loss has created a financial hardship on the victim’s family. If you’re in a position to help and feel like helping, this is the link to their crowdfunding campaign to pay for funeral costs.
– Jack Cameron
On the final day of 2015, 49-year-old Tamara Fabre became the fifteenth homicide this year in Tacoma. Tamara has moved here from Texas back in April in order to help her mother. Her mother died of cancer in October.
Tamara lived in the 7000 block of Fawcett Avenue. Her brother lives across the street. The family was planning a large New Year’s Day meal. Tamara was preparing food for the gathering. She and her 81-year-old father got into an argument. At some point that argument turned physical. It ended when her father managed to grab a carving knife. Tamara was stabbed at least ten times. Her father then went to Tamara’s brother’s house and had him call the authorities.
As always, the comments section is moderated by me and reserved for those who knew Tamara and want to share memories for her.
– Jack Cameron
It was a little after 1:00am early Sunday morning when neighbors heard the gunshots. Police arrived around 1:15am near the corner of East T and East Morton Street. They found 30-year-old Preston Stafford shot in the abdomen. Preston was transported to a local hospital where he died five hours later.
It turns out Preston had been waiting for a ride. He had contacted a woman for a ride, but when the car arrived, her boyfriend was driving. Her boyfriend said something about Preston owing him $50 and shot him.
Preston becomes the fourteenth Tacoma homicide this year and the third homicide this year on Tacoma’s East Side. Contrary to initial reports, Preston was not homeless at the time of his murder. The following day Tacoma Police arrested the 40-year-old woman and the 38-year-old man in connection with his murder.
Preston was well liked and enjoyed joking around and supporting the Seahawks. In other words, he was a lot like many of us.
As always, the comments section is reserved for those who want to share memories or thoughts about Preston. The comment section is moderated and inappropriate comments will not be accepted.
It is my hope that this is the last homicide I have to write about this year.
– Jack Cameron