It was near 11pm on March 31st when 28-year-old Dante Robinson was shot to death in an apartment in the 1800 block of South 15th Street. He sustained one gunshot wound. Officers arrived and performed CPR, but Dante died on the scene. Despite my writing this nearly six month later, this is literally all the information I’ve been able to find about Dante Robinson’s death.
Dante Robinson is the tenth Tacoma homicide this year and the seventh Tacoma homicide in the month of March. Just a few years ago six homicides would have been half a year’s worth of homicides in Tacoma.
Dante was born in Kissimmee, Florida and joined the Army directly after high school and was deployed to Afghanistan for six months. After that he served out the next two and a half years at JBLM, near Tacoma. He was the father of a daughter and a son. Dante was known for being a quiet and gentle presence. He was a practicing Christian and active in his church and had a very loving family.
The comments section is moderated by me and reserved for friends and family of Dante who would like to share thoughts or memories of him.
On the evening of March 25th, 21-year-old Deon McGhee told a 28-year-old acquaintance he had met that day through a friend that he could get him some Xanax for $300. The man agreed and got into a car with Deon driving and Deon’s uncle in the backseat. The man transferred $300 electronically to Deon, but Deon didn’t see it in his account and asked the man to do it again. The man did this a total of three times, transferring a total of $900 to Deon’s account. The man then stabbed Deon in the neck. The car crashed in the 1000 block of North Villard Street. Upon impact the three men ran in three different directions. Deon stumbled to a nearby porch and sat. Police arrived and tried CPR. Paramedics showed up, but Deon died before he arrived at the hospital becoming the ninth Tacoma homicide this year.
Deon’s alleged killer was arrested and charged with first degree murder shortly after.
I was unable to find much information on Deon McGhee beyond his activities on the final day of his life. At 21-years of age he was too young for anyone to know what sort of person he might have ended up becoming. What we know is that Tacoma has lost another young resident to homicidal violence. I know there are those who will just dismiss this as another drug deal gone wrong and ignore the tragedy of the loss of life, but personally I subscribe to the theory that everyone is more than their worst actions. And having written about Tacoma homicides of all sorts of individuals over the year, I can say with certainty that every single person has someone who loves them and someone who will never be the same if that person is taken from them.
As always, the comments section is reserved for friends and family of Deon McGhee who might want to share thoughts or memories of him. And if you have a photo of him you’d like to share, please email it to me at email@example.com.
On Wednesday, March 18th, at 11:24pm in the 300 block of East 26th Street a car with three people in it approached 36-year-old Raymond Martine Serrano. Someone in the car opened fire and the car drove off. Raymond fell in the middle of the street. Paramedics arrived shortly after and performed CPR, but they were unable to save his life. Raymond Serrano is the fourth Tacoma homicide in a month and the eighth Tacoma homicide this year.
Raymond was known to the police as a registered sex offender with a child molestation conviction and a habit of going on the run from the law. He was wanted at the time of his death in fact.
The three individuals in the car were arrested shortly after the incident.
Here are TacomaStories, I always try to focus on the victim and put them in the best possible light. They’ve lost their lives. Whatever they’ve done, they’ve paid for it. And no matter who someone is, they have people who cared for them and loved them.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find much about Raymond beyond his trouble with the law. Anyone who knew him and wants to share thoughts or memories, please know that the comments section is moderated and reserved exclusively for that.
In the early morning hours of March 12th, 36-year-old Jermaine Campbell and a 24-year-old friend were with a woman who tried to grab the 24-year-old’s gun. While she was unable to get the gun, she was able to get his car keys and drove off in his Volkswagen Jetta. Jermaine and the man got into Jermaine’s Ford Explorer and gave chase. They caught up to her around 1:30am near the 3800 block of South Lawrence. The man opened fire on the car, but Jermaine’s Explorer bumped him while he was still firing. One of the bullets hit Jermaine in the chest. Jermaine then drove two blocks and crashed into a parked semitruck.
A security guard called the police after hearing the shots. They found the Jetta but there was no one inside. They also found a gun inside the car, but the car was locked. An hour and a half later they were called to the scene of the accident and found Jermaine Campbell dead from his gunshot wound.
Police later caught up with the man who shoe Jermaine and arrested him. This is Tacoma’s seventh homicide this year and the fourth in one week.
I wasn’t able to find much about Jermaine’s life or even a photo of him online. As always the comment section is moderated and reserved for those who knew Jermaine and want to share thoughts or memories of him. If you’d like to send me a photo I can add to this post, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the afternoon of March 11th, Ozelle Tyrece Tate left the County City Building where he had appeared in Pierce County Superior Court on a charge of first-degree theft. After leaving the courthouse he walked to his car in the 1500 block of South G Street. Another man approached in another car and asked if he could talk to Ozelle. Ozelle noticed agreed to talk to him but noticed the man was armed. The conversation turned into an argument. A woman found a nearby police officer and told him that there was a fight. Before the officer could get there, a shot was fired. Ozelle had been hit in the thigh and the shooter had driven off.
The shooter was later located in Georgia and arrested.
Ozelle Tryrece Tate is the sixth Tacoma homicide this year. He was a father of four. He had an outgoing personality. He was someone who could talk to anyone. And his loss echoes through the lives of those he knew.
As always the comments section is moderated with each comment approved by me and is reserved for those who knew Ozelle and want to share thoughts or memories of him.
On the afternoon of March 10th, 61-year-old Sarann Suong was heading to her apartment she shared with her son in the 1800 block of South 82nd Street. Her son was a troubled 30-year-old. His behavior had resulted in five previous felony convictions. Once, after he choked her, she got a restraining order against him. But family is family. It wasn’t uncommon for Sarann to yell at her son. It seemed like the only way to get through to him at times. But on March 10th, Sarann did not even have a chance to take off her backpack. Once she walked in her front door, her son who had been sitting on the couch with a knife, attacked her, stabbing her in the face and neck.
Neighbors called police after hearing Sarann’s scream. When police arrived they found Sarann Suong dead becoming our fifth Tacoma homicide this year. Her son was found a short-time later with bloody clothing and in a clear dissociative state. He’s been arrested and charged with first degree murder.
*A personal note, I accidentally omitted this homicide in my coverage of Tacoma homicides. This was not on purpose. My apologies to the friends and family of Sarann for not correcting this oversight sooner.
It was a cold Tuesday morning on January 14th when 48-year-old Ernest Searcy encountered another 48-year-old man on East L and Puyallup Avenue. They did not speak long and at no time did Ernest behave in any sort of threatening manner, but this did not stop the other man from shooting him twice then driving away. A passerby jotted down the license plate number of the man’s car and the man was arrested a short time after that. An individual administered CPR to Ernest until paramedics arrived, but they were unable to revive him. Ernest Searcy is the second Tacoma homicide of 2020.
Ernest was born in New Jersey. Growing up, Ernest was someone who picked things up very quickly. He’d create his own dances and write and perform raps. His grandmother nicknamed him ‘Speedy’. After high school he joined Job Corp and met Shalonda Nelson. The two of them had a daughter named Diamond. Though the relationship did not last, his love for his daughter never faded. He moved to Tacoma to reconnect with her. It wasn’t easy. Eventually they did reconnect and he started going to church with her.
When he wasn’t making music or spending time with his daughter, Ernest was a licensed forklift operator. He was someone who liked to laugh and had a habit of lightening the mood of any room he was in.
When a senseless killing like this happens, it’s difficult to understand or reconcile because there is a sudden hole in the lives of everyone who knew the victim. It’s something that changes lives in a way that can only be truly understood by others who have lost someone to violence.
As always, the comments section is moderated and reserved for those who knew Ernest and want to share thoughts or memories of him.
On the evening of October 18th, 52-year-old Dung Mai was working on a house with a 46-year-old friend. The two had known each other most of their lives. Dung had lived with his friend’s family for years. Many described them as close as brothers. Neighbors report hearing the two arguing about money. A little after 8:30pm, Dung’s friend shot him in the head, killing him. Dung Mai is the twenty-second Tacoma homicide of 2019.
When Dung was found, he had $2,000 in cash on him and a plane ticket to Vietnam. It’s not known if these items have anything to do with his death. His friend was arrested for Dung’s murder shortly after police arrived.
Dung Mai’s murder is also the ninth domestic violence related homicide in 2019. Domestic violence homicides are the most common kind of killing in Tacoma.
I was unable to learn to much about Dung Mai and was not able to locate a photograph of him. As always, the comments section is reserved for those who knew the Dung Mai and would like to share thoughts or memories of him. Also, if one of his loved ones has a photo of him they’d like me to include in this article, please email me at email@example.com.
It was just after 2:30am on September 8th when 24-year-old Bennie Branch was pulled over by a Tacoma police officer in the 3400 block of Portland Avenue. Bennie had multiple warrants out for his arrest, but his family say he was in the area checking on his mother who was homeless. There are conflicting reports as to what happened and the Pierce County Sherriff’s Department is still investigating. Media reports do not say why the police officer pulled Bennie over. Family members say that Bennie ran from the police officer and was shot in the back. They found a pistol on the ground near Bennie. Family members claim this was an airsoft pistol that shot pellets. Bennie Branch is the twenty-first Tacoma homicide of 2019.
I have never written about a police involved shooting that did not have conflicting reports of exactly what happened. However, it is uncommon for the police departments involved to release so little information. This may be due to a recent change in state law that requires any police involved shooting to be investigated by a separate agency which is why the Pierce County Sherriff’s Department is investigating the Tacoma Police Department shooting.
Typically there are one or two police involved shootings in Tacoma every year, but like every other metric for homicides in this city, police involved shootings have increase. This is the third police involved shooting of 2019.
As always, the comments section is moderated and reserved for friends and family of Bennie who want to share thoughts or memories about Bennie.
The day before his death, 38-year-old Jahleen Mitchell got $50 from his mother and gave half of it to a homeless man in need. He was a former military police officer and was planning on being a commercial pilot. On the afternoon of September 5th he had an altercation with a 40-year-old man in People’s Park near South 10th and L Streets. It isn’t known how the altercation started. What is known is that Jahleen did his best to avoid the conflict, running into the park. A knife fell from his backpack while he was running. The man chasing him picked it up. Jahleen lost his footing and fell. His attacker stabbed him and punched him repeatedly. Jahleen managed to get back to his feet and headed towards a nearby convenience store where other pedestrians tried to help him. Jahleen’s attacker then ran off. Jahleen was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he later died from his wounds becoming the twentieth Tacoma homicide of 2019.
Jahleen’s attacker was later arrested and charged with first and second degree murder. If he’s convicted he will spend the rest of his life behind bars thanks to Washington’s ‘Three Strikes’ law and two previous convictions for violent crimes.
This sort of homicide is the very definition of senseless. Even the attacker’s father admits this never should have happened. For the first time in over a decade we’ve had more twenty homicides in a year.
Jahleen was born in Jamaica but moved with his family to Tacoma at the age of six. He graduated from Mt. Tahoma High School and was the proud father of an eight-year-old daughter. His family meant everything to him and his generosity was one of his defining traits. It’s impossible to overstate the impact Jahleen’s murder will have with his family and friends. It’s the sort of damage one only understands if they’ve lost someone in a similar manner.
As always, the comments section is moderated and reserved for friends and family of Jahleen.