March 28, 2006

Seattle Shooting Update

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The King County medical examiner officially released names of the victims of the Seattle shooting today: They are: Melissa Lynn Moore, 14; Suzanne Thorne, 15; Christopher Williamson, 21; Justin Schwartz, 22; Jason Travers, 32; and Jeremy Martin, 26. The two people wounded in the shooting are listed as in satisfactory condition.

News is being released about what exactly happened on Saturday morning when Kyle Huff decided to kill 6 people. Parents and friends are speaking out and some of the details are heartbreaking.

The News Tribune interviewed Kyle Moore, (R) father of the 14 year old victim, Melissa Moore. (L) He tells the whole story of what happened that night and morning with his daughter. Here is an excerpt:

"... Morning found her sitting on the porch with two young girls she had just met. One was cold, and Melissa offered her coat. The girl took it. In it were Melissa’s camera and cell phone.

Moments later, just after 7 a.m., the hulking gunman arrived. Six-foot-5 and 280 pounds, Aaron Kyle Huff had been at the party that morning. He briefly left and returned carrying bandoliers of ammunition, a pistol-grip shotgun and a handgun, police said.

He blasted Melissa and one of her new friends, 15-year-old Suzanne Thorne (R), in the head, police said. The other girl -- the one wearing Melissa’s coat -- escaped, along with more than two dozen others.."

28 year old Kyle Huff came prepared. He brought three guns, more than 300 rounds of ammunition, a baseball bat and a black machete. Apparently, he said, "There's plenty for everyone," as he was shooting, authorities said.

Deputy Police Chief Clark Kimerer said Huff was "clearly intent on doing homicidal mayhem." However, investigators still have no idea why, he said. "We may be asking these questions over the next year or two," Kimerer said. "Hopefully we will find some answers."

The attack was "clearly a premeditated and well-planned assault on innocent people," Kimerer said earlier. "It is very clear that he had thought out a murderous spree, a campaign." He continued, "What he might have done if he was able to leave this scene and continue this rampage, I shudder to contemplate," Kimerer said.

Huff killed the two girls on the front steps, then killed three more people in the living room and went looking for more victims, police said. He tried to enter a locked bathroom, jiggled the handle and fired a few rounds through the door, missing a frightened couple.

The Stranger has published an article called Saturday Mourning: 'Survivors of the Capitol Hill Massacre on the Rave, the After party, and the Hell that Kyle Huff Unleashed' I encourage you to read this article in its entirety. It has many first hand accounts of what happened by the people who were there.

I've cited a few excerpts from the article that I found interesting. My emphasis is bold.

"...Kyle Huff was wearing a green long-sleeve sweatshirt, blue jeans, black shoes, a hemp bracelet, and a crystal necklace. He was the most conventional looking among them. He tossed in a few bucks for beer, like everyone else. One of them smoked a bowl with him. "He was kind of smiling a bit," said Jesiah. "He wasn't having a bad time."

But he wasn't really blending in either. "I kind of thought he was a cop, because he was so straight," said Anthony. He said so to Jesiah, who told Anthony he was being paranoid.

"I kept my eye on him," said Chavon, a 21-year-old who asked that we not print her last name. "I went up and talked to him because I wanted to make him feel welcome." She says that at one point or another, nearly everyone talked with Kyle. No one argued with him...."

The article continues with details of what happened and where everyone was when Huff was on his rampage. Some of them hiding in the basement, some running out the back door or jumping out windows. One couple hid in a bathroom and a few others hid in the bedrooms and barely escaped death. What happened as Kyle was exiting the house is what is so strange to me...

"......The absence of screams and gunshots created an eerie silence, and everyone who was in the house hiding could hear Kyle's every move. "I heard the reloading, the drop of the clip, the cocking, and then the other clip," says Anthony. "I knew he was reloading, and I thought, 'Oh God..'

Downstairs, a song was playing that the group referred to, only half-seriously, as their anthem: "Cripple Fight." Some dialogue from the cartoon series South Park had been mixed with electronic beats. As he passed through the living room, Kyle stopped to turn up the volume....."

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For the Seattle locals:

** The funeral for Chris Williamson, a victim of the shooting, will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at Lake City Presbyterian Church, 3841 NE 123rd Street in Seattle.

** Jason Traver's family needs some help to bring his body home from Seattle. Which is why a benefit will be held Saturday, April 8th at the Starting Gate Restaurant, at 55 Watervliet Avenue in Albany. The benefit starts at 3 p.m. Proceeds from the event will be used to help bring Jason home and for funeral arrangements.

** The Church Council of Greater Seattle has planned a Service of Hope, an opportunity for prayer, reflection and remembrance at the site of the massacre, at 6 p.m. Tuesday at 2112 E. Republican St. The public is invited. More information.

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