Tag Archives: Tacoma Homicide

29th Tacoma Homicide of 2020: Joshua Moore-Hughes

It was a late night in a motel in the 8800 block of Hosmer on December 1, 2020. People had been entering and leaving one particular room all night. At one point the man who rented the room noticed that thirty Percocet pills were missing and ordered that the ten people in the room remain there until the missing pills were found. He asked a 33-year-old man for assistance. When the renter of the room accused32-+year-old Joshua Moore-Hughes of stealing the pills, Joshua took offense as he knew he was innocent of the theft. The 33-year-old told him to watch his mouth. Joshua said, ‘Watch my mouth?’ at which point, the 33-year-old shot him with a 9mm pistol. The people in the room scattered and were largely uncooperative when police later questioned them. The 33-year-old was soon taken into custody while Joshua was taken to the hospital where he later died becoming the 29th Tacoma homicide of 2020.

Hosmer is a street notorious for crime. Major crimes happen in the area on a weekly if not daily basis. And it is all too easy for someone to look at the things that happen there and pretend that they don’t matter because it’s a high crime area that law abiding citizens tend to avoid. This viewpoint dehumanizes our fellow citizens and ignores the fact that a human being is more than their worst actions, more than their worst decisions, more than their circumstances. And perhaps, more importantly, everyone has loved ones who never did anything to deserve the grief they now have thanks to the unnecessary loss of a loved one.

Joshua had a large family who cared deeply about him. He had the sort of laugh that would make others laugh even if they didn’t know what he was laughing about. He spoke up about injustice and cared about others.

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

  • Jack Cameron

28th Tacoma Homicide of 2020: Gregory Evans

In the early morning hours of November 27th, 55-year-old Gregory Evans was talking to a 42-year-old acquaintance near his vehicle in the 2000 block of East 60th Street when a light gray Dodge Charger with black wheels slowly rolled up. Inside the car were two Black men in their twenties. One had light skin and a pony tail. The other had darker skin with his hair in twists. When they opened fire they hit both Gregory and the man standing next to him. Gregory died of his wounds while the other man survived.

Nearly a year later this crime remains unsolved. Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrests of the men responsible for this crime. Find out more details at this link. You can also anonymously call in information at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477)

Gregory is the 28th Tacoma homicide of 2020. Any homicide is a tragedy, but unsolved homicides that seem random and senseless and perhaps more infuriating than others in that there is no justice and nowhere to place blame until those responsible are caught.

Unfortunately I was unable to discover much about Gregory Evans’s life. This is often the case when an individual lacks much of an online presence and/or has a fairly common first and last name.  In circumstances like this, I especially hope that those who knew Gregory will share thoughts and memories of their lost loved one. If anyone has a photo of Gregory they’d like to share for this article, please reach out to me at jackcameronis@gmail.com .

  • Jack Cameron

27th Tacoma Homicide of 2020: Scott Jonathon Univer

Scott Jonathon Univer was not doing well. The 40-year-old had been struggling with mental illness and on the morning of November 15, 2020 he was in an apartment parking lot. He had on him multiple IDs that were not his. A 33-year-old man approached him. The two got into an argument that turned into a fistfight. Then the 33-year-old pulled out a pistol and shot Scott in the chest. Police arrived and attempted CPR, but Scott died on the scene becoming Tacoma’s 27th homicide of 2020.

Scott was known in his family as a sweet, kind, and loving man who often asked how others in his family were doing. He was someone who loved to play with children. And he was something who struggled a lot. There is a void in the lives of those who knew and loved Scott. It’s not something that goes away, but something they’ll eventually learn to live with.

Mental illness is an invisible disease that impacts so many. Not only the person suffering from the illness, not just those who know and care about the person, but those who encounter that person as well. All too often when I write about Tacoma homicides they involve an individual suffering from mental illness. And each time I imagine a better world where mental health care is as easy and readily available as a pack of gum.

As always, the comments section is moderated and reserved for those who knew Scott and want to share thoughts or memories of him. I was also unable to find a photo of him. If you have one you’d like to share, please email me at jackcameronis@gmail.com

  • Jack Cameron

26th Tacoma Homicide of 2020: Aiden Gage Walters

Aiden Gage Walters lived with his mother, his girlfriend and his 18-year-old little brother in a house in 1000 block of South 88th Street. He was 23 years old. On the morning of Saturday, November 14, 2020 Aiden had a friend over. Aiden’s brother did not like the friend and started harassing him, at one point he threw a clock at the friend. Aiden and his brother began arguing. His brother had a Leatherman tool with the knife on it extended. When their mother saw that the fight was turning physical and that her youngest son had a knife she tried to intervene, but during the fight he stabbed Aiden twice in the left side of the head.

Aiden told his girlfriend he needed medical attention as he was bleeding profusely. She began to drive him to the hospital, but were met along the way by an ambulance. Aiden later died of his wounds Sunday night becoming the 26th Tacoma homicide of 2020. Aiden’s brother was arrested and charged with second degree murder.

I couldn’t find much information online about Aiden. As the father of a son his age, I can say that his life was just beginning and a fight that didn’t need to turn deadly has robbed us of learning what sort of man Aiden would have grown up to be.

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

– Jack

25th Tacoma Homicide of 2020: James ‘Jimmy’ Wamsley

43-year-old James ‘Jimmy’ Wamsley was at a friend’s home in the 7600 block of South J Street on the evening of October 1st, 2020. The house was a known drug house with frequent visitors. One person who lived there said there were twenty to thirty people in and out of the house every day. There were seven people in the bedroom when Jimmy was accosted by another 42-year-old who accused him of harming a woman they both knew.  Jimmy denied it. The argument soon became physical and the 42-year-old shot Jimmy once in the chest before leaving.

Twelve minutes elapsed between the time Jimmy was shot and the time someone in the house called 9-1-1. When asked who had been at the house, no one mentioned the name of the gunman. Once police had secured the scene, paramedics arrived, but he was pronounced dead at the scene becoming Tacoma’s 25th homicide victim this year.

It would be over three months before police caught up to the man who shot Jimmy. There is no evidence that anything the gunman said about him was true.

Friends and family say that Jimmy was larger than life and a loyal friend. He was the sort of person who believed that family didn’t have to be blood related. He had a great laugh. He had a rough upbringing and got into his share of trouble, but most remember him as a guy always willing to help out. At the time of this writing, Jimmy has been gone almost a full year, but for those who knew him, the hurt is still very fresh like it is for so many people who knew victims of homicide.

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

– Jack Cameron

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