Tag Archives: Tacoma Homicide

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

20th Homicide of 2020: Ty Allen Jenkins

In the early morning hours of August 1st, 25-year-old Ty Jenkins was walking to his car in the Emerald Queen Casino’s South parking lot. Someone approached him and fired multiple shots, killing him. Tribal police were on the scene in minutes and saw someone running away, but the individual could not be located. Ty is the twentieth Tacoma homicide this year.

Ty was from Las Vegas. He came from a loving and close family. He was an eldest son and a father. I wish that I could tell you more about what happened to him, but even months later, the facts of his death remain largely unknown or at least not revealed to the public. As Ty’s murder occurred on tribal land, the FBI is investigating the case.

Ty’s family has started a GoFundMe Campaign for his cremation and transportation costs. As always the comments section is moderated and reserved for those who knew Ty and want to share thoughts or memories of him.

  • Jack

18th Tacoma Homicide: Benito Juarez

Around 2am on July 11th, 23-year-old Benito Juarez Jr. was in the 3900 block of Ruston Way on Tacoma’s waterfront with a group of people. Ruston Way in the summer attracts crowds at all hours. On this particular night there were members of two gangs interacting. At some point one member of a gang thought a member of the other gang had disrespected them. A 17-year-old pulled out a gun and began firing. One bullet hit Benito Juarez in the forehead. Officers arrived on the scene minutes later as people got in their cars and left. Police performed CPR while paramedics arrived but they were unable to save Benito. Benito Juarez is the eighteenth Tacoma homicide this year.

Benito was a big guy with a big smile. He loved his family and his loss is something they all feel deeply. He was only 23-years-old. And there’s no telling what he could have offered the world in the future. That knowledge is stolen from us. But those who had him in their life are thankful for the time they had.

His family has a GoFundMe campaign set up. Please contribute if you can.

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

– Jack Cameron

17th Tacoma Homicide of 2020: Megan Re

Around 4am on July 5th, a man came home to the house he shared with three others. Upon entering the home in the 1000 block of Pierce Street he found 31-year-old Jonna Hart and 34-year-old Megan Re both shot in the head. His other roommate, Jonna’s husband was nowhere to be found. The man called 9-1-1 and began attempting life-saving procedures, but it was no use. Jonna and Megan are the sixteenth and seventeenth Tacoma homicides this year.

Days later, Jonna’s Jeep would be found near the Narrows Bridge and her husband’s body would be found floating off of Vashon Island. His death was ruled a suicide.

I didn’t know Megan Re or her roommate, but Megan Re’s sister wrote the following after Megan’s death:

“Megan was a spitfire ball of energy, who lived every day full of love and light. She was hilarious and sarcastic but kind and so compassionate. She got oddball British humor and loved the weirdest anime shows, her music tastes were as eclectic and all inclusive as she was and she wanted to share that with everyone. She loved all animals except birds and bugs and fish but if it was furry she probably thought it was adorable. Megan could rock a sexy ass dress on the town or roll out of a tent in sweats in the woods and be as happy as a clam.

“And let’s not forget about how much she LOVED food! Haha most definitely a biproduct of working in the restaurant industry. Megan loved a well made meal and the type of food didn’t matter. She loved home cooked meals, BBQs, breakfasts food, desserts, any and all Asian dishes and everything Italian. She was all about a bomb breakfast, 2nd breakfast, elevensies, lunch, afternoon snack or dinner. Any chance to grub down good food, visit with friends and support a local restaurant she was down. She’d take you out and buy you lunch with her last dollar. If she was too broke to go out she’d still want to visit though and invite you over to watch Netflix or listen to music and eat pizza rolls. That’s just the type of person she was.

“When she asked how you were she really cared to know the answer, it wasn’t just a filler phrase for her. Once you were family you were family for life with Megan. She was the ultimate nomad and wanderer, a Gypsy to the core, never content to stay put but always curious of the next horizon.

I can’t imagine my life without my big sister in it. She’s always been there. We were the “Re” sisters and inseparable for the longest time. She was my first best friend, my partner in crime, the Marian to my Robin Hood as kids, the person who taught me about my period, boys, makeup and how to handle so much stuff in life, my first fighting partner (and whew did we go rounds at times😌) but as adults it didn’t matter how long it had been since we talked a few days or a few weeks it was the same old familiar routine.”

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

  • Jack Cameron

16th Tacoma Homicide of 2020: Jonna Hart

Around 4am on July 5th, a man came home to the house he shared with three others. Upon entering the home in the 1000 block of Pierce Street he found 31-year-old Jonna Hart and 34-year-old Megan Re both shot in the head. His other roommate, Jonna’s husband was nowhere to be found. The man called 9-1-1 and began attempting life-saving procedures, but it was no use. Jonna and Megan are the sixteenth and seventeeth Tacoma homicides this year.

Days later, Jonna’s Jeep would be found near the Narrows Bridge and her husband’s body would be found floating off of Vashon Island. His death was ruled a suicide.

We may never know the motivations for the two murders. What we do know is that three sets of family and friends will never be the same.

Jonna Hart was originally from Idaho, but she tended to move around a lot. She was someone who sought adventure and fun. She was not someone to sit still. And her presence is one that will be missed by her loved ones.

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

– Jack Cameron

15th Tacoma Homicide of 2020: Alfred T. Nelson

In the early morning hours of June 6th, about 40 minutes after police found David Eugene Johnson dead from gunshot wounds in the 5500 block of South Washington Street, police were called to a vehicle in the 700 block of Huson where they found two more men suffering from gunshot wounds. The 42-year-old driver had non-life-threatening injuries. His 18-year-old passenger was 18-year-old Alfred T. Nelson. He was already dead when the police arrived. Police were able to link them to the original crime sense where Johnson lost his life. Alfred T. Nelson is the fifteenth Tacoma homicide this year.

I wasn’t able to find much about Alfred online. I’m sad to see that yet another teenager has been murdered. When we lose people not even out of their teens yet we lose all the possibilities of who and what they can be. They never even had a chance to show us. Any loss of life is a tragedy, but the loss of a child is especially painful.

As always, the comments section is moderated and reserved for friends and family of Alfred who want to share thoughts or memories of him. If you have a photo of Alfred that you’d like me to include in this article, please email me at jackcameronis@gmail.com 

– Jack

14th Tacoma Homicide of 2020: David Eugene Johnson

In the first hours of Saturday, June 6th, police received calls of shots fired in a parking lot in the 5500 block of South Washington Street. David Eugene Johnson was bouncing there. There had been a fight inside the club. He and two others had managed to separate the two groups, but when they got out into the parking lot the fight started up again. There were were over 40 shots fired. Somehow only David was fatally hit. David Eugene Johnson or ‘Jay’ as some called him was the fourteenth Tacoma homicide of 2020. He was five days short of his twenty-ninth birthday.

Though police questioned many people in regards David’s murder many, including David’s employer where he was a bouncer were less than cooperative and at this time the case remains open and unsolved.

David was the father of three. One son, and two daughters. Nothing gave him more delight than to watch their faces light up on Christmas morning. He was a funny guy, often injecting humor into situations whenever he could. By all accounts, he was someone who really enjoyed life.

Just a couple of years ago fourteen homicides would have been our total for the year. Now we reach that in half the time. As of this writing, David’s murder remains unsolved and the details of his death remain sketchy.

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

All photos courtesy of David’s sister, Cortnei.

12th Tacoma Homicide of 2020: Aaron Brown

In the 8700 block of Hosmer, on Sunday, April 5th near seven in the morning 39-year-old Aaron Brown was walking down the street when he was attacked by a 42-year-old man with a long criminal record and a history of mental problems who thought Aaron was a man who attacked his family. They had never met before. A passerby saw the 42-year-old man repeatedly hitting Aaron in the he with a large piece of asphalt. When the man saw the passerby he ran away. Aaron was taken to the hospital where he died of his injuries five days later. The man who murdered Aaron was arrested shortly after the crime and has been judged not mentally fit to stand trial for his death.

Aaron is the twelfth Tacoma homicide this year and it’s just the beginning of the fourth month of the year. Up until recently twelve homicides would have been a year’s worth of homicides in Tacoma. This time the year is barely ninety days old and we’re already there.

Aaron was an only child who struggled with addiction for twenty years and was denied the opportunity to get clean when a mentally deranged man ended his life.

As always, the comments section is moderated and reserved for those who knew Aaron and would like to leave a thought or memory about him. Also if anyone who knows him would like me to post a photo of him on this article, write me at jackcameronis@gmail.com.

  • Jack Cameron

11th Tacoma Homicide of 2020: Kelsea Michelle Carlson

 On April 3rd 28-year-old Kelsea Michelle Carlson logged onto her incarcerated father’s social media account looking for a buyer for the half pound of methamphetamine she was looking to sell. After finding a seller, shortly before midnight, three men showed up to the apartment she shared with her 33-year-old fiancé in the 1400 block of South Union Ave. One of the men said that something wasn’t right about the deal and pulled a pistol. He shot Kelsea multiple times and shot her fiancé twice in the leg. The three men then left. One left behind his cellphone. Kelsea’s fiancé called 9-1-1 and told them to hurry. By the time first responders arrived, Kelsea had died from her wounds. Her fiancé survived, but had to have surgery on his leg.

Kelsea is the eleventh Tacoma homicide this year and the second drug related murder in a week. There is a certain portion of the population who do not care about drug related murders. It’s easy to be callous right up until the point where you realize that every homicide victim has friends and family who will never be the same thanks to their loved one being stolen from them. In Kelsea’s case, she has a young daughter who is now going to grow up never knowing her mother. The thing people tend to forget about homicides is that the person who was murdered is only one of many victims of the crime.

Kelsea’s family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to pay for her funeral expenses.

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

  • Jack