Police ID Tacoma’s Hilltop murder victim, seek public's help

TACOMA, Wash. – Police are investigating a late Wednesday night homicide in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood.

Investigators released the victim's information on Thursday identifying 28-year-old Robert Doss as the man gunned down while he ate dinner with a friend inside her car near 14th and L streets.

The shooting happened in a neighborhood that once was rife with crime but is now undergoing rapid change.

“Since this was the last place he was at I had to come by,” said Isaiah Clarey who said he was friends with Doss. “It’s unfortunate. Hopefully they find who did it.”

Detectives spent the night and Thursday morning canvassing the neighborhood for clues.

Investigators say Doss was inside a green Ford Explorer eating dinner with 20-year-old female friend when someone approached and opened fire. That’s when the female, also injured, drove them both to a nearby hospital where Doss later died.

Police say a motive is still unknown.

“At this point it’s way too early in the investigation to make assumptions,” said Tacoma Police Officer Loretta Cool. “What we do know is they were parked there and they got shot.”

“A lot of people buying houses,” said Daveonte Miller, “And a lot of people selling properties.”

Miller says he and his family have seen the neighborhood make changes for the better over the years – but says Wednesday night’s shooting was a stark reminder that violence can happen anywhere.

“Some people make bad decisions, sometime disputes get out of hand and people don’t handle it the right way,” he said.

Police don’t yet have any information about what the suspect or suspects may have looked like.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information. Tipsters can reach their number, 1-800-222-TIPS, and remain anonymous.