Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sixth Tacoma Homicide of 2019: Daniel “Danny Rasher” Stueart

Danny Rasher.JPG

Forty-two year old Daniel Stueart was known to his friends as Danny Rasher. On April 13th, around 7:30pm Danny was at a homeless encampment in the 9900 block of Steele Street when he encountered someone with a gun. The gunfire alerted others who contacted authorities. Danny had already died by the time first responders arrived. Danny became the sixth Tacoma homicide this year.

I could not find much information about Danny. His Facebook page says he attended John Brown University studying psychology. He then attended the University of Arkansas but left for a job. He had at least one child. A son. Other than that, I wasn’t able to find much more. Not that more information would ever complete a full picture of who Danny was to his friends and family.

Typically Tacoma averages about one homicide a month. This is our sixth in just over three months, nearly double our typical rate over the last ten years. The reasons for this increase are difficult to discern. We’ve experienced an increase in population, our police department is underfunded, and any number of other factors may be to blame. What is clear is more people are being murdered in Tacoma than usual and each of them impacts the community. This is also the second killing of a homeless individual this year and the fourth homeless murder in the last six months. Here’s hoping it’s the last for the foreseeable future.

Danny’s murder remains unsolved. Crime Stoppers of Tacoma-Pierce County is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever killed Danny.  You can use the P3 Tips App on your smart phone to anonymously submit the information, or call the hot line at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477)

As always, the comments section is moderated and reserved for those who knew and loved Danny.

  • Jack
Advertisements

Fifth Tacoma Homicide of 2019: Gerald Antonio Bryant Jr.

Gerald Bryant

Thirty-four-year-old Gerald Antonio Bryant Jr. and a 21-year-old friend of his were drinking and play fighting in front of his friend’s apartment. The play fighting soon became argumentative. His friend’s mother, noticing her son’s level of intoxication asked him to come back into his apartment, but both he and Gerald remained angry at each other. Over his mother’s and brother’s objections, the man grabbed the keys to his Volkswagen Jetta and ran outside. He got into the vehicle and then ran Gerald over multiple times before fleeing.

Gerald was taken to a local hospital in critical condition and placed on life support where he remained for the few days until he died becoming the fifth Tacoma homicide this year. The man who ran him over was arrested a few days after the incident and has been charged with second degree murder.

Gerald graduated from the same high school as I did. Growing up, he worked on cars and did yard work with his grandfather. He was shy as a kid until he got into sports. Basketball, football, wrestling – he tried almost everything. He developed a larger than life personality with a smile that was infectious. Shortly after high school, his first child was born. Over the next few years he’d have six more. No matter what he was up to, he did his best to make sure he had Dad time. If a friend’s car broke down, he’d be with him under the hood. He’s gone now thanks to a senseless murder, but those who knew him will never forget him.

As always, the comments section is moderated and reserved for those who knew and loved Gerald. If they want to share thoughts or stories of Gerald, this is a place to do it.

  • Jack Cameron

Fourth Tacoma Homicide of 2019: William Harris

In the early morning hours of March 12th, 40-year-old William Harris was in an apartment in the 300 block of South 9th Street. He noticed another 40-year-old man looking at pornography on a computer. It appeared to William to be child pornography. He decided to say something about it to the man. This led to an argument that soon got physical. The other man stomped and kicked William. He choked him with his own coat. At some point in the fight, the apartment door came off its hinges. A neighbor heard the commotion and stepped into the hallway to investigate, finding the other man covered in blood. The man lunged at the neighbor who then pepper sprayed him.

When police arrived around 1am, they found the other man speaking incoherently and standing over Harris who was not breathing. Police administered CPR. William was taken to St. Joseph’s hospital where he was pronounced dead.

William is the fourth Tacoma homicide this year. He was homeless at the time of his death. I was unable to find out much information about him quite frankly because he has a very common name. I wish I had more information to share because one of the purposes of this site is to give a fuller picture of the person this city has lost. Every death matters. When that death is the cause of someone else’s senseless actions, it is all the more terrible.

As always the comments section is moderated and reserved for those who knew William to share thoughts or memories. Also if someone who knew William wants to provide a photo of him for this post, I’ll be happy to include that.

– Jack Cameron

5 Question Friday With Richard Wiley

51+c8PCUlrL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_

When I originally registered the domain name TacomaStories.com years ago I was glad it was not already taken. It’s simple and easy to remember. Despite this I was still surprised when I learned a few months ago that Richard Wiley’s new book was called Tacoma Stories. My first thought was that I did not want people coming to this site and learning nothing about the book even if I had nothing to do with the book. My next thought was that I did not want people thinking the book was connected to the website since it isn’t.

I decided the best way to deal with this potential confusion was to contact Richard Wiley and see if he would be interested in participating in a 5 Question Friday. This way if you end up here because of the book, you get a quick interview with the author. And if you’re a regular reader of this site, you get introduced to a new author with a book you should really check out.

Thankfully, Richard agreed to do it. Here’s Richard:

1. Can you give us a bit of background on your writing for those who are unaware?

I started writing more than 40 years ago.  My first novel, Soldiers in Hiding, was set in Japan during World War II.  It was lucky enough to win the PEN/Faulkner Award for best American fiction in 1987.  After that there were seven more novels, almost all set abroad, in Korea, in Japan again, in Nigeria, Kenya, and in 1899 Alaska.  A novel of mine entitled, Bob Stevenson, was set in New York City and came out in 2016.

2. What is your history with Tacoma?

I grew up in Tacoma, at Brown’s Point.  I went to school there, and then, after my family moved to North Jackson Street, went to Wilson High School.  I graduated from UPS, in 1967, then left Tacoma for a decade, came back to work at Tacoma Public Schools – both of my children were born in Tacoma – then left again for a few years in Africa and a twenty-six year stint as an English professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  My wife and I moved back to Tacoma in mid-2015.

3. Can you tell us about your latest book, Tacoma Stories?

The stories are linked, but can also stand alone.  All of the characters meet up at Pat’s Tavern on North 21st Street (now Magoo’s Annex) on St. Patrick’s Day, 1968, in the first story.  Over the course of the next thirteen stories, not in chronological order, we follow one or another of those who were in Pat’s that night, into their pasts and also into their futures.

4. You’re going a bit of a book tour at the moment, where can people catch you?

I will be reading at Elliott Bay Book Company, in Seattle, on Friday, February 15, at 7 p.m.  After that, I’ll be at the Tacoma Public Library’s Brown’s Point branch at 2:30 on March 2; at King’s Books, in Tacoma, at 7 p.m. on March 7, and signing books at The Pacific Northwest Shop on Proctor Street, on March 9 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

And if anyone is in Las Vegas on April 11, I’ll be reading at the Writer’s Block Bookstore at 7 p.m.

5. What is your next project?

I am just now completing a third “Japan” novel, entitled “Cornelius, on Love.”  It is set in Kyoto in 1972.

I’d like to thank Richard Wiley for joining me for 5 Question Friday and for writing a book set in Tacoma. I know I am biased, but I am of the opinion that this city is ripe for storytelling. If you think you or someone you know might be a good guest for 5 Question Friday, let me know at jackcameronis@gmail.com

  • Jack Cameron

First Tacoma Homicide of 2019: Mary Hoffer

mary hoffer

It couldn’t go on like this. Mary Hoffer knew that the fights with her boyfriend had to stop. It was constant. Neighbors in the apartment building in the 800 block of South 8th Street had become used to the yelling, the screams, the things breaking. It had to stop. She told her coworkers that she would meet up with them on January 4th, Friday night after she sat down and had a civilized talk with her 37-year-old boyfriend.

Mary never showed Friday night. She didn’t answer phone calls. She wasn’t online. When she didn’t answer her door on Saturday, her coworkers called the police. Police arrived and found Mary dead. She had been beaten and strangled becoming the first Tacoma homicide this year.  They also found her boyfriend dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The two of them were from Warsaw, Indiana. Mary was known to be a generous person. In 2015 she organized a GoFundMe for someone who had lost everything. My thoughts go out to her family and to all who knew this couple. Death has a way of rippling through the lives of those still living. It’s impossible to estimate the impact someone makes until they are gone.

As always the comments section is reserved for those who knew Mary who might want to share any thoughts or memories of her.
– Jack

13th & 14th Tacoma Homicides of 2018: Evitan De Biaso & Deonte Mitchner

The plan seemed simple enough. A 16-year-old offered to sell a gun to a 13-year-old he smoked pot with a few weeks ago. The deal was to go down December 9th. The 16-year-old had no gun to sell. He was bringing three friends with him and they were going to rob the kid. According to charging papers, two of those friends were 19-year-old Evitan De Biaso and 21-year-old Deonte Mitchner. The third friend stayed in the car with Deonte’s two young children. Evitan and Deonte hid in bushes in an alley near the 1300 block of East 35th street.

Things did not go according to plan. The 16-year-old led the 13-year-old to the ambush, but the 13-year-old brought a friend. When Evitan and Deonte jumped out, the 13-year-old ran with the 16-year-old chasing him. The 16-year-old heard gunshots and knew that neither of his friends had guns. Around 4:50pm Tacoma police found both Evitan and Deonte dead of gunshot wounds. Evitan and Deonte become the thirteenth and fourteenth Tacoma homcides this year. The 16-year-old and the driver have been arrested. The unidentified shooter remains at large. People with knowledge of the incident are asked to call the Tacoma Police Department at 253-591-5968.

If TacomaStories has a theme it is to echo Bryan Stevenson’s “We are more than the worst things we’ve done.” Evitan and Deonte were more than these actions. Both had loving, caring families. Deonte has a 1-year-old and a 5-year-old who will never spend another Christmas with their father. It’s all too easy to judge and discard other people. We do not do that here. I know I have said it before, but every loss of life creates a hole in the lives of countless others.

As always the comments section is reserved for the friends and family of Evitan and Deonte who might want to share any thoughts or memories of them. All comments are moderated and approved before appearing.
– Jack

Tenth Tacoma Homicide of 2018: DeAngelo Reese

deangelo reese

In the early morning hours of August 17th, 36-year-old DeAngelo Reese was riding bicycles with a female acquaintance in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood. Near South 21st Street a 46-year-old man approached them. The man said to them, “”You’re not gonna be hanging around here, these are my streets.”

DeAngelo stopped his bicycle and said, “We do what we want.” The two then continued riding.

The man ran after them, at which point DeAngelo got off his bike and said, “Don’t run up on me.” The two of them got into a physical fight. DeAngelo pulled a knife. The man knocked it out of his hand and picked it up. DeAngelo ran toward a traffic circle on South 21st and Sheridan. He lost his footing, tripping on a curb. The man caught up to him and stabbed him repeatedly.

Shortly afterward, a passerby approached in response to the commotion. The man ran, getting into his girlfriend’s car as she drove away. DeAngelo was taken to a local hospital where he later died from his wounds becoming Tacoma’s tenth homicide this year.

Both the man who stabbed DeAngelo and his girlfriend were arrested and charged in DeAngelo’s murder days later.

This is the sort of murder that used to be fairly commonplace in Tacoma, especially in the Hilltop neighborhood. These days this kind of homicide is a rarity in this town. It can be easy to dismiss something like this as fairly trivial, but that of course ignores the hole left in the lives of DeAngelo’s loved ones that can never fully be repaired.

As always the comment section is reserved for those who knew DeAngelo and want to share thoughts or memories of him with us. Each comment is approved and moderated before it appears. All other comments are deleted and not seen.

My thoughts go out to DeAngelo’s loved ones.

– Jack