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