14-Year-Old Girl Shot and Killed in Tacoma


A 14-year-old girl was shot and killed in Tacoma near MLK Jr. Way Wednesday morning.

The shooting took place near the intersection of South 19th Street and MLK Jr. Way around 11:35 a.m., according to Tacoma Police Department spokesperson Wendy Haddow. Haddow told The News Tribune that a car full of children was parked in the area when someone shot at the vehicle, striking a 14-year-old girl.

After bullets were fired, the car escaped the scene to the 1900 block of South Ainsworth Avenue. While at South Ainsworth, someone in the car called for medical help. When firefighters arrived, the teenager was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Crime scene technicians, detectives, officers are still in the area," Haddow said. "This is an active investigation. It is being investigated as a homicide."

Police have not yet identified or apprehended a suspect, and it is unknown whether there was a relationship between the shooter and any of the children in the car. Officers and detectives were expected to canvas the area throughout Wednesday afternoon, searching for people with information related to the homicide.

"Anyone with information regarding this homicide is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIPS," Haddow said.

At this time, the number of children in the car and their medical conditions are unknown. A glass door at Ezell's Famous Chicken, located on the block of South 19th Street and MLK Jr. Way, appeared to be shattered by a bullet. Officers do not yet know if the damage was related to this shooting.

Police asked drivers to avoid the area throughout the rest of the afternoon as law enforcement conducted its investigation. Organizers of Wednesday's scheduled reproductive rights roundtable, which would have taken place at the People's Community Center with U.S. representatives Derek Kilmer, Marilyn Strickland and Suzan DelBene, have postponed the event until further notice.

Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards released a statement Wednesday evening, consoling the families and other people impacted by the shooting. In light of this homicide and other recent violence, she wrote that she is "beyond devastated. I am furious." She announced that the city will present a plan to reduce violent crime on July 12 at a City Council Study Session.

A vigil will be held at the intersection of the shooting Thursday at 6 p.m. Woodards invited Tacoma residents to "join the family ... to grieve in solidarity."