Seattle police identify suspects in fatal downtown shooting | KNKX

Seattle police identify suspects in fatal downtown shooting

Jan 23, 2020

Editor's note: This story is developing. We will update as more details become available. 

Seattle police have released information about the suspects involved in a fatal shooting in the city’s downtown core Wednesday night.

The Seattle Police Department is searching for 24-year-old Marquise Latrelle Tolbert and 24-year-old William Ray Tolliver. The men — who are reportedly 200 pounds and 145 pounds, respectively — are considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who has seen them or knows their whereabouts are urged to call 911.

This combination of undated photos released by the Seattle Police Department show William Ray Tolliver, left, and Marquise Tolbert, two people authorities are seeking in connection with a shootout in downtown Seattle that left a woman dead and seven others injured.
Credit Seattle Police Department via AP

A 50-year-old woman died at the scene and seven others were injured in the incident that occurred around 5 p.m. at Third Avenue and Pine Street.

The King County Medical Examiner's Office identified the woman as Tanya Jackson. She died of a gunshot wound to the torso. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Jackson was a long-term resident at a Plymouth Housing building. Plymouth is a nonprofit that operates housing units for those who are experiencing homelessness. A spokesperson for the group released a statement saying it was devastated by the news.

"As part of our permanent supportive housing model, our buildings become close-knit communities; these women were like family to many," the statement reads. "Our hearts go out to the families, friends, and neighbors of all the victims."

The organization said a second resident was one of the people who was wounded in the shooting.

The location of Wednesday's shooting is a busy thoroughfare, and many Seattleites were leaving work when the shots were fired.

Authorities say it was not a random shooting. In a news conference late Wednesday, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said a dispute escalated to the violence.

Of those who were injured, three remained at Harborview Medical Center as of Friday. A 55-year-old woman is in serious condition. And a 9-year-old boy and 32-year-old man are in satisfactory condition.

Best said police have arrested a suspect, who was among those admitted to Harborview last night. That suspect, who suffered a gunshot wound, has since been booked into jail, she said during a news conference Thursday. 

A massive police response shut down the blocks between Third and Fifth avenues much of the evening Wednesday, rerouting transit during rush hour.

The shooting was the third in two days in downtown Seattle, including an officer-involved shooting earlier Wednesday afternoon that wounded a man who reportedly had a gun. On Tuesday, a 55-year-old man was discovered dying from a gunshot wound in a Westlake Center stairwell, according to The Seattle Times.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, who was in Washington, D.C., for the U.S. Conference of Mayors, flew home early in response to the shooting. 

In a news briefing Thursday afternoon, Durkan stressed that Seattle is still one of the safest cities in America, and Seattle police will continue ongoing crime-prevention and intervention efforts in the downtown core.

"We have to make sure that people in this city not only are safe, but feel safe," she told reporters. 

Officials said the police emphasis in the area around Third and Pine allowed first-responders to be on the scene within seconds. "I know that made a difference," Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins said. 

Citing the ongoing investigation, Best provided limited information about evidence collected so far in the shooting. She noted that more than 20 shell casings were discovered at the scene.   

Gov. Jay Inslee expressed grief for those who were affected by the gun violence.

“I am horrified and dismayed to hear about the shooting in Seattle tonight,” he said in a statement released Wednesday. “We grieve for the one individual confirmed dead in the shooting, and wish a full and speedy recovery to those who were injured.”

Police have been conducting emphasis patrols in that area on-and-off since the summer. Durkan and Best say the city will continue to step up public safety efforts in light of the shooting. Those efforts include putting even more uniformed officers on the street, using a "mobile precinct" in the area, and adding more detectives from the gang unit.

Durkan says the city will also work with downtown businesses to find ways to "activate" space in that area, pointing to similar work that has been done at Westlake and Occidental parks. The mayor also talked about investing in programs and services to address upstream causes of violence and crime.

KNKX reporter Simone Alicea contributed to this report.