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Fatal shooting in Tukwila leaves one dead, one arrested, and a community in mourning

Thursday April 23, 2020

(Tukwila Police Department)

Seattle (HOL) - Police in Tukwila, Washington has collared a suspect after a man was shot and killed on Monday evening, according to officers.

Tukwila police say the officers responded to a shooting call that occurred in the 14100 block of International Boulevard at around 6:101 p.m. Upon arrival; they found a male victim suffering from gunshot wounds. Despite receiving emergency medical attention, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tukwila police spokesperson Victor Masters did not offer any specific details into the shooting, saying that murder was a result of a dispute that escalated, adding that the violence did not appear to be random.

The suspect was located nearby and was taken into custody by police officials.

Masters added that the police are still trying to determine that root of the argument. At the time of writing, police have yet to lay charges.

Police did not disclose the identities of the two young men involved in this incident, but it has since emerged on social media that they are both Somali youth.

Zak Ifan, a Tukwila City councillor, said in a phone interview that he was shocked at the news circulating the East African community. He called on religious scholars, parents and community leaders to come together to work with the young people. Mr Idan himself feels particularly close to the issue of youth violence within the Somali community. As a young man growing up as a first-generation immigrant in Seattle, he had to navigate through some of the same tribulations and feels he can offer some unique insight.

Zak Idan, Washington's first Somali-refugee elected official, Zak Idan of is a Tukwila city councillor for District 5 (L) and Ayanle Ismail, The Executive Director of Bridging Cultural Gaps (BGC) in Seattle (Supplied).

Ayanle Ismael, the Director-General of the non-profit organization Bridging Cultural Gaps said that although he regrets the latest loss of life in the community, he noticed Somali communities only come together when something negative happens.

"It is always unfortunate when a young life is lost in a senseless way. The issue here is more than just gun violence. It is time for East African families not to ask why but rather do. It is time to do the preventative work of bridging the generational and cultural gap between the parents and youth."

Ismael added that the onus is on the parents to strengthen their relationships with their children.

"Families must take on the task of curtailing the activities of their children. Otherwise, a system far greater and destructive will take hold, and we become a community of grief. It is not to say that families do this work alone. Families have to tell someone, ask someone, for tools and advice. Families must sound the alarm in their communities. As we often come together around grief over gun violence, we as a community must come together to plan and implement a solution."

Munira Mohamed (L), is the head of the East African Community Services (EACS). Mohamud Yusuf (R) is the editor of RUNTA newspaper based in Seattle.

Munira Mohamed, head of East African Community Services, said she is desperate for the community to take action. Munira added that the gap between parents and children is widening. Part of the reason is that parents and children do not speak the same language. Munira said that if the community wants to intervene in these issues, then we must talk to the children in the language they understand.

Mohamud Yusuf, the longtime editor of RUNTA newspaper in Seattle, described these recurring killings as tragic. He said that there needs to be a reckoning in the Somali community between parents and their children if the city wants a lasting solution to the violence.


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