Tag Archives: Tacoma Homicide

24th Tacoma Homicide of 2021: Kalyn Smith

On the morning of October 12, 2021, thirty-year-old Kalyn Smith’s body was found in the 3100 block of East M Street. It would be eight months before the Medical Examiner would rule her death a homicide. She died from someone crushing her throat. And now, over a year later, there remains no further information as to who is responsible or the circumstances that led to Kalyn’s death.

Kalyn is the twenty-fourth Tacoma homicide of 2021. My research into her is hampered by the fact that she had a common last name, does not seem to have had a large online presence, and the simple fact that not a lot of information has been released about this particular homicide. It wasn’t until June of 2022 that the Medical Examiner decided it was a homicide.

Also as the homicide rate rises, the media coverage of homicides decreases. This results in less information being publicly available about the individual.

What I can say from years of writing about Tacoma homicides is that there are friends and family of Kalyn who will never be the same due to her loss. And that while the media may largely ignore homicides that they see as unimportant, for some this homicide will mean quite a lot.

As always, the comment section is reserved for those who knew Kalyn and want to share thoughts or memories of her. If you happen to have a photo of her you’d like to accompany this article, please contact me at jackcameronis@gmail.com.

  • Jack

23rd Tacoma Homicide of 2021: Diego Escalante

On the night of his death Diego Escalante was living in a homeless encampment near South 38th and McKinley Avenue. He was a friendly guy who had worked as a cook. He was funny. And he loved to share stories from the bible that he had memorized. At 1:30am on September 25, 2021 he was sitting in a chair when an intoxicated 21-year-old approached him and shot him three times. Diego died on the scene.

When the mother of the 21-year-old heard about the murder she had suspicions her son was responsible. They lived nine blocks from the homeless encampment. Her son had purchased a pistol and he had frequently talked about how he felt homeless people should be killed. She contacted police with her suspicions and her son was charged with first degree murder.

Diego’s killer did not know him and had no previous contact with him. By all account Diego was a random victim of a mentally deranged intoxicated young man who had all too easy access to deadly weapons and violent urges. His death was a senseless act of violence that ripped a hole in the lives of all who knew and loved Diego.

The animosity towards homeless individuals is just as misguided as any other form of bigotry.

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

–Jack

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22nd Tacoma Homicide of 2021: Antonio Deshaun Robinson

It was just after 5:30am on September 23, 2021 when someone knocked on the door of the motel room 35-year-old Antonio Deshaun Robinson was sharing with his girlfriend in the 8800 block of Hosmer Street. The person at the door told Antonio that a 42-year-old man who had stolen a gun from Antonio was in the parking lot. Antonio went outside to confront the man who had stolen his gun. An argument ensued that soon became physical. The 42-year-old man shot Antonio once, then fired three more times. When first responders arrived around 5:40am, Antonio was still alive, but just after 6:00am he succumbed to his injuries becoming the twenty-third Tacoma homicide of 2021.

Police quickly identified the man responsible and arrested him in early November 2021. He was charged with second degree murder. Ammunition found in the motel room matched the ammunition from the gun used to kill Antonio.

Hosmer Street from South 72nd to South 96th is the most dangerous street in the city of Tacoma with multiple murders happening there every year.

This is not the first tragedy to hit Antonio’s family. In 2012, his brother Gary was shot and killed in Missouri. I can’t imagine the pain his family is feeling. Antonio had a young son who has forever lost his father.

As always the comment section is moderated and reserved for friends and family of Antonio who want to share thoughts and memories of him.

-Jack Cameron

TacomaStories is always free. If you’d like to support our work, you can donate at this link. Thank you.

21st Tacoma Homicide of 2021: Soohui Kim

On the last night of her life, 42-year-old Soohui Kim went to a casino with her friend. It was September 21, 2021. They left in the early morning hours of September 22nd. Her friend fell asleep. Soohui had some ‘clear’ she wanted to sell. ‘Clear’ is slang for a kind of methamphetamine. She knew someone who wanted to buy it but he wasn’t someone she’d ever sold to before. She exchanged a few text messages with the man before agreeing to meet in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 4500 block of South Puget Sound Avenue.

Around 4:30am, a few minutes before Soohui and her friend arrived in her SUV, the man she was texting with pulled up in a Honda and met with two other men. Those men waited for Soohui to pull up. Soohui’s friend woke up when they pulled into the parking lot. Moments later, the two men approached the vehicle from behind and fired 5-6 shots into the vehicle. Soohui immediately pulled out of the parking lot and drove away. Her friend had been grazed by a bullet. Soohui had been shot twice and crashed into a telephone pole on South 47th and Pine. Her friend ran to a nearby convenience store and called 9-1-1, but Soohui Kim was dead by the time first responders arrived becoming the twenty-first homicide of 2021.

With the help of witnesses, video surveillance, and cellphone data, police were able to identify, arrest, and charge the three men responsible for Soohui Kim’s murder.

I wasn’t able to find much about Soohui Kim’s life, friends, or family, but I know that she was more than someone who sold drugs. It’s all too easy for some to dismiss people involved in criminal activity as nothing more than criminals, but all of us are more than the worst things we’ve done. Soohui Kim had friends and family who will never hear her laugh again. They have a hole in their lives that will never be repaired. It is a loss they will simply get used to with time.

As always the comment section is reserved for those who knew Soohui Kim and would like to share thoughts or memories of her.

-Jack Cameron

TacomaStories is always free. If you’d like to support our work, you can donate at this link. Thank you.

20th Tacoma Homicide of 2021: Rikki Lynn Millerup

On the morning of September 6, 2021 a 49-year-old man with severe mental illness entered a gym in the 9700 block of Pacific Avenue. He asked about a membership and then attacked the clerk before leaving. Shortly after that altercation, about a block away he encountered 40-year-old Rikki Lynn Millerup, a homeless woman who stayed in a tent near there. He cut her throat then stabbed her ten more times. The man then stole her wallet and debit card from her backpack. A friend of Rikki’s saw her in her tent that morning but assumed she was passed out until he saw her in the same position hours later and called authorities. She was dead when first responders arrived becoming the twentieth Tacoma homicide of 2021.

Rikki’s killer was found hiding in bushes shortly after.

I was unable to find much information about Rikki Lynn Millerup. This is fairly common when the victim is homeless. People say she was a nice person.  In situations like this I’m forced to rely on thoughts and memories of people who knew the victim to fill in what isn’t available. This is why the comment section is moderated and reserved for those who knew Rikki and want to share the stories of the person they’ve lost.

– Jack Cameron

TacomaStories is always free. If you’d like to support our work, you can donate at this link. Thank you.

19th Tacoma Homicide of 2021: Job Anthony William Irving

It was around midnight on August 26th, 2021 when 30-year-old Job Anthony William Irving and a friend arrived at the Shell gas station on South 15th and Sprague. Shortly afterwards both Job and his friend were both shot. His friend survived his wounds, but Job died on the scene and became Tacoma’s 19th homicide of 2021.

Job spent most of his life in Sacramento, California where his family moved when he was a child. Shortly after graduating high school he joined the Army Reserves. In January of 2020 he reenlisted becoming an active duty soldier and training as a nurse. His training complete, he was statins at Joint Base Lewis McChord in March of 2021. Only five months later he lost his life.

Job had a great sense of humor, an infectious laugh and was known for his big bear hugs. He clearly wanted to serve his country and help people. He lived a life that mattered. He is missed.

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

– Jack Cameron

TacomaStories is always free. If you’d like to support our work, you can donate at this link. Thank you.

18th Tacoma Homicide of 2021: Dalvon Eugene Edwards Shinhoster

I can tell you that Dalvon Eugene Edwards-Shinhoster loved basketball. He played it on the weekends and whenever he could get a chance. He was 39 years old. He graduated from Foss High School, class of 2000. He was the sort of guy who was always willing to take the time to help out those in need. He was a father, a brother, an uncle, and a good friend.

What I can’t tell you is what happened to Dalvon on the morning of August 16, 2021. He was found unresponsive in an apartment parking lot in the TK block of TK at around 9:00am. First responders were called, but he was dead on the scene. His death has been ruled a homicide, but as of this writing over nine months later, police have not released Dalvon’s cause of death, any known circumstances leading up to his death, or any description of a suspect. I cannot tell you how Dalvon became the 18th Tacoma homicide of 2021. I can just tell you that he is missed by those who knew him.

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

-Jack Cameron

TacomaStories is always free. If you’d like to support our work, you can donate at this link. Thank you.

16th Tacoma Homicide of 2021: Bud Morgan

In the early morning hours of July 24, 2021 Bud Morgan was in Wright Park. The 32-year-old had left his home finding the walls too confining and wanting desperately to get out, get away, just go. In recent years, Bud had started taking methamphetamines. It wasn’t something he was proud of and he preferred to deal with the addiction on his own. This particular night he ran into two young men. One of them had a gun. There was yelling. One man told the other to shoot. The gunshots woke up nearby neighbors, but it would not be until a couple hours later when a passerby found Bud’s body. Bud Morgan is the sixteenth Tacoma homicide of 2021.

The two men responsible for Bud’s death were caught a few weeks later using surveillance camera footage and images from social media.

Bud was a generous guy. He enjoyed helping people. It wouldn’t be uncommon for him to drop everything and do what he could to help someone in need. It’s easy for some to think that a drug addiction invalidates a person’s humanity, but the truth of it is, that those who turn to drugs are often the ones who care the most, who love the most, and who hurt the most. A person does not escape into drugs unless they have a feeling they want to escape from.

Bud’s death, like that of the woman killed hours earlier, was senseless and done with a callous disregard for the impact a death has on the families and friends of the victims.

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

– Jack Cameron

TacomaStories is always free. If you’d like to support our work, you can donate at this link. Thank you.

15th Tacoma Homicide of 2021: Heather Lee Tucker

Shortly before 1:30am on July 24th, 2021, 36-year-old Heather Lee Tucker suddenly crossed the street near the 900 block of North Pearl Street after seeing a man ahead of her. She knew trouble when she saw it. What she didn’t know was that another man was trying to flank her. What exactly happened next is unclear, but moments later there were gunshots and the two men can be seen on surveillance cameras running away. Heather was shot multiple times and became Tacoma’s 15th Tacoma homicide victim of 2021.

An hour and a half later the two men shot and killed another person in Wright Park. Police were able to identify the suspects through surveillance cameras and social media posts and arrested them a few weeks after the crimes. No motive for the crimes is known at this time.

Heather was a talented singer and well loved by her family. She was the sort of person you looked forward to seeing around the holidays. She had that way about her that made whatever room she was in a bit warmer. She is someone who is missed.

As always the comments section is moderated and reserved for those who knew Heather to share thoughts or memories of her.

-Jack Cameron

TacomaStories is always free. If you’d like to support our work, you can donate at this link. Thank you.

14th Tacoma Homicide of 2021: Denise Smith

Denise Smith was working her fifth shift at her new job as a security guard at a building in the 900 block of A Street. In the early morning hours of July 18, 2021, she was watching camera monitors from the lobby when she saw a homeless woman washing herself in the fountain in front of the building. The 41-year-old security guard walked outside to talk to the woman and then returned to the lobby.

Moments later a 26-year-old 6’5” drunk male soldier approached the front door of the building. He had recently lost a bar fight. Denise motioned for him to leave. He didn’t. When she opened the door, the man immediately began beating her. During the next ten minutes Denise fought back, tried to escape, and did everything she could to survive, but her attacker was relentless, dragging her around, stabbing her with her keys, and beating her again and again.

Denise was found just after 6:00am when the security guard arriving for the next shift arrived. Denise was pronounced dead on the scene becoming Tacoma’s 14th Tacoma homicide.

The perpetrator of this crime had no motive, claims not to remember the attack, and has been charged with first degree murder.

Denise is described by family as being a sweet person who largely kept to herself.

As always the comments section is moderated and reserved for those who knew Denise and want to share any thoughts or memories of her.

– Jack Cameron

TacomaStories is always free. If you’d like to support our work, you can donate at this link. Thank you.