Responding To Call, Seattle Police Shoot and Kill a Man Near Northwest African American Museum

by Andrew Engelson

A man was shot and killed by Seattle police officers near the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) Tuesday night after an incident that left at least one other person dead, according to a statement from Seattle Police Department (SPD) released Wednesday morning.

SPD wrote that “A suspect shot two victims in the 2300 block of South Massachusetts Street Tuesday night, resulting in the death of one victim and leaving the second critically injured. Officers responded and exchanged gunfire with the suspect, and the suspect died at the scene.”   

SPD later identified the man as  Gregory Taylor, a maintenance employee at the Urban League Village apartments in the building that also houses NAAM.

Coast Property Management, the regional company that manages the Urban League Village affordable apartments, told the Capitol Hill Blog that Taylor was a resident and had worked for years “cleaning and keeping our grounds tidy.”

“We are heartbroken about this tragedy, and our thoughts and concerns are with the individuals involved and their families,”  read a statement from Susan Pickering, chief operating officer at Coast Property Management. “We’re limited in what we can share out of respect for the privacy of everyone involved, but we can confirm that Gregory Taylor was a resident at Urban League Village. He also worked at the building about five hours a week cleaning and keeping our grounds tidy, which is a role he held when we took over management of the property in 2018.”

According to video of an SPD briefing by Assistant Police Chief Deanna Nollette at the scene posted on KIRO-TV’s Twitter site, officers responded to reported gunfire in Jimi Hendrix Park at the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and South Massachusetts Street at about 9:15 pm. In the briefing, Nollette claimed that an armed man shot at officers and that police returned fire and killed the man. Nollete said that two other people were discovered at the scene with multiple gunshot wounds and were transported to area hospitals with life-threatening injuries.

According to SPD on its website, “At 9:16 p.m., a caller reported hearing a shot fired near 24th Avenue South and South Massachusetts Street. Additional callers reported seeing a man firing a gun in the same area. When officers arrived on scene they heard multiple gunshots. The suspect walked towards the officers, raised his firearm and fired at them. Officers returned fire, striking the suspect. Some of the officers began providing aid to the suspect, while others searched the area for victims of the suspect. The two victims were found in a vehicle parked in the parking lot of 2300 South Massachusetts Street. The Seattle Fire Department arrived to take over emergency care and medics declared the suspect deceased. SFD medics transported both of the victims to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. One of the shooting victims died during transport to the hospital.”

Neither the victim shot and killed or the second victim who survived the shooting inside their vehicle in the parking lot have been publicly identified.

SPD’s statement said that the Force Investigation Team will investigate the officer-involved shooting and that representatives of the Office of Police Accountability and the Office of Inspector General responded to the scene. The statement noted that SPD will release video of the incident within 72 hours.

The Emerald will be following this story to determine specific details about the victims and police response.

Andrew Engelson is a Seattle-based writer and editor who lives in the South End.

Featured Image: Northwest African American Museum by Joe Mabel via Wikimedia Commons; used here under a CC BY 4.0 license.

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