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Volume 34
Issue 14
 
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Capitol Hill Massacre: Questions and confrontations await city officials at town meeting
Capitol Hill Massacre: Questions and confrontations await city officials at town meeting
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN Staff Writer

After the brutal murders of six young people on Capitol Hill two weeks ago, many were left looking for answers or some way to make sense of the aftermath. To that end, the City Council, the Mayor's office and the Miller Community Center came together last week to give the neighbors a chance to vent, ask questions of the police and offer support to those who survived the ghastly attack that left the neighbors around 'the blue house' (where the murders took place after a young man opened fire on a house full of after hours partygoers who'd attended a rave earlier in the evening) shell shocked.

Along with officer Leonard, the officer who possibly prevented more deaths by placing his body between one of the wounded young people at the house and Aaron Huff, City Council members Jean Godden, Tim Rassmussen and Nick Licata were on hand to field questions from those gathered.

Several young people who had been part of the rave scene in the past, and one of the city's most popular rave promoters, asked if the 'tox screen' on the shooter would be made public. They were answered by a police spokesman, who said that most likely the results of the coroner's report on Huff would be made public, but not the results of what, if anything illegal was in the blood of the deceased. Some audience members felt neither results should be made public, but many wanted to know what Huff might have ingested, that may have led to his violent behavior and killing spree.

Two audience members squared off over one member's somewhat Christian take on the violence and his assumption that if more people turned to God (though he was indirect about saying this, several audience members tried to silence his outburst, when it seemed that was the direction his statement to the group was heading) less violence would be occurring in the world. And one of the survivors of the shootings confronted a woman who asked the City Council and police why more hadn't been done to enforce the teen curfew.

"Most of the people who were there were asleep, and they were at home, so no curfew would have saved them ma'am," the younger woman and friend of the dead explained, emotion cracking in her voice. The other survivors and friends who had come to the meeting for answers agreed loudly, one breaking down in tears after he too asked a question of why those who had fled from the house had to wait for an hour before trauma teams arrived, or those who'd had to leave clothing and shoes behind, had replacement items.

"After we called 911, a lot of cops and ambulances showed up, but a lot of us were freaking out and some people were having flashbacks and there were no counselors or anyone for us to talk to and people needed shoes or clothes, even a blanket and we had to wait for what seemed like hours for that to happen and we want to know why," said the young man who broke down in tears after asking his question. The city council and the police representative assured those gathered, including the young survivors that this was something they would be working to change in the future.

Some felt Mayor Greg Nickels, who left after a brief statement about how the whole event had traumatized not only Capitol Hill, but the entire city, should have stayed longer and were skeptical as to whether much would change to prevent future gun violence. Also on hand was Representative Ed Murray, who asked those present to keep working to restore the ban on assault weapons that had been lifted under the current Bush administration's policies on gun control.

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