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
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
It was early Sunday morning just after 2am in the parking lot of a convenience store in the 3700 block of North Pearl Street. In the passenger seat of a car sat 33-year-old Jeffery Wayne Shaw. A 38-year-old man had arranged to meet him and buy some heroin. The 38-year-old man approached the car and showed a fake badge. Jeffery responded by telling the driver to drive and was shot. The driver took Jeffery to Tacoma General Hospital. Shortly after arriving at the hospital he died from his wounds. The 38-year-old was arrested hours later by the Tacoma Police Department.
Jeffery Wayne Shaw is the thirteenth Tacoma Homicide this year. He was not unknown to the police. A quick online search will show he has a lengthy criminal history. It might not show that he has an eleven year old son. Or that he was apprenticing to be an electrician. It won’t likely show the friends and family who are devastated by the loss of this man. It won’t show what it’s like to grow up without a father.
Too often murders like this go unreported or ignored. Some people see a drug deal gone bad and assume anyone involved deserves what they get, but a man is more than his worst deeds. We all are. The life of Jeffery Wayne Shaw is just as important as any we’ve lost this year. And there is no way to discount his life without saying on some level that we do not value all life. At TacomaStories every life is vital and worth being remembered.
As always the comments section is moderated by me. Every comment must be approved. It is reserved for those who knew Jeffery and want to share thoughts of memories of him. Disparaging, insulting, or threatening comments will not be tolerated. There are sadly plenty of other places for that sort of thing
– Jack Cameron
There is a GoFundMe account for those who want to donate to the victim’s family. https://www.gofundme.com/f9eqk7z6
On Tuesday morning a man was walking back home after walking his wife to work in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood. It was just after six in the morning. On South 10th and Martin Luther King Jr. Way he found 26-year-old Steven Speakman on the sidewalk. He’d been shot three times and had died from his wounds. The man tried to wave down a car for help, but it was a few minutes before anyone stopped.
Steven Speakman is the 11th Tacoma homicide of 2015 and the second to occur this week, with the shooting of Elijah Crawford happening just seven hours earlier on Tacoma’s East Side.
Steven was 26 years old but was intellectually disabled and functioned at the level of a ten year old. He lived only two blocks from where he was found and was well known and well liked in the neighborhood. People called him ‘Little Stevie’. A small memorial stands where Steven was found.
At this time police do not have a suspect or a motive. He was not robbed of anything but his life. Police are asking for anyone who might have information or been in the area around that time to contact them.
Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood is notorious for its high crime rate in the early 1990s, but this is actually the first homicide in Hilltop in over a year. What once was a neighborhood that people were rightly afraid to go into has become a much safer, more vibrant part of Tacoma.
As always, the comments section is moderated by me and reserved for those who want to share thoughts and memories of Little Stevie.
– Jack Cameron