'We've been crying for help:' Seattle preschool director's fears grow with neighborhood violence and crime
SEATTLE - Community members are speaking out following the deadly shooting in Seattle’s Mount Baker neighborhood.
Seattle Police said two suspects opened fire at the Mount Baker Station bus stop on Tuesday. The victim was taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition where he later died.
A day later, flowers and candles were left behind in memory of the victim. Police haven’t identified him yet, but family members tell Q13 News his name is Tay-Zauhn Burns-Miller and he just turned 20-years-old on Thursday.
"He got along with everybody. He was a loving brother. He was very funny. He was family-oriented. He loved his sister to death," said mom Liza Henderson. "I don’t even know what to say. I’m so sick. I will never be able to see my son again. He was an awesome kid. He left an impact on a lot of people."
The shooting happened near the Hoa Mai Vietnamese Bilingual Preschool. The Center Director Gloria Hodge said children enrolled are as young as 20-months-old to 5-years-old.
"Some did hear the gunshots. It was during nap time but we don’t quite think they understood what it was," said Hodge. "We’ve been crying for help and meeting with some local officials for our needs, but the response is just too slow. We want to make sure the children and staff are safe, and also our community, and that’s with the Mount Baker area deserves."
Hodge said there have been several break-ins and burglaries at the preschool in the last several weeks. Last Monday, up the hill from the preschool, there was also a homeless encampment fire that killed two people.
RELATED: Police: Three injured in drive-by shooting in Seattle's Rainier Valley
"For me, I’m tired and very frustrated and upset our area isn’t getting the response that other areas of Seattle do," said Hodge.
Activist Andre Taylor of Not This Time said the City of Seattle needs to make meaningful investments in the neighborhood.
"We haven’t given to enough community organizations that are on the grounds, that are in the streets, that are trying to build these relationships," said Taylor. "We need to invest in that type transformative education and teaching of inner-city youth, but if they don’t fund it, they’re going to continue the situation that we’ve got."
Seattle Police said detectives are looking for the two suspects who are still on the run.
If you have any information, you can submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers and receive a reward of up to $1,000. Just send a message right on your phone through the P3 Tips App, or call 1-800-222-TIPS.
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