The Senseless Murder of Tyrone Love
Photo by Tunde Salisbury
By Sable Verity
It never matters how tired I am of writing about young Black men being gunned down in Seattle’s streets. It seems we can only manage to have a few weeks pass by before another incident happens, and I am back here, trying to find words that will give meaning to life now lost. They are words I simply don’t have. There are no words to adequately convey how shocking, how utterly shocking this is, and how wrong it feels.
The majority of these shootings have been labeled “gang related” by the status quo; the Mayor and cronies, the police department and daily papers. Each time these deaths are stamped with the gang label, the rest of Seattle tunes out. Detectives insist that no arrests can be made because of an unwritten street code of silence.
And here we are again. Reports came in early that a shooting had happened overnight in the Central District. Within hours the victim’s identity was broadcast across text messages, MySpace and facebook; Tyrone Love.
From the Seattle Times and Seattle PI:
According to an eyewitness, Love was walking alone in the 2600 block of East Cherry Street just before 2 a.m. when a man pulled up in a car, jumped out, ran toward Love and shot him several times.
Some acquaintances suggested that Love’s death might be connected with an ongoing investigation into the fatal, gang-related shooting at Vito’s Madison Grill in November. Police would not confirm whether Love was linked to it.
But one law enforcement source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described a small circle of men who promote parties, attend clubs and may know gang members — at least peripherally.
No. No that can’t be right. There must be a mistake.
Isn’t that what we say every time? There must be mistake.
We can already bet on what the status quo is going to say about Tyrone. We can already bet that most of it will not come close to resembling the young man many of us have known. The comments sections for both online editions of the dailies are filled with hate and judgment- it’s the greater Seattle way.
But Tyrone was not a criminal.
He was not a gang member.
Again, from the PI:
Well-known in his Central District neighborhood, Love has no criminal record and often helps support his mother, who is raising a teenage daughter. The bulk of his work experience, other than party promotions, is in after-school care for children.
Lawrence Epps, 24, sat at the Meredith Matthews YMCA, barely able to keep from crying. Love had been a mentor to him and dozens of other young people there, he said.
“Tyrone was kind of a shoulder to cry on for kids, and he helped me to understand the importance of being a father figure to them,” Epps said.
Whenever one of those young people began veering toward trouble, Love was the one to steer them straight.
“He was always the voice of reason,” Epps said. “Pretty much everything I know, I got from him.”
He didn’t deserve to be shot to death.
Tyrone loved the Seattle hip/hop scene (one that doesn’t get much respect on a national level), and worked hard at what he loved. He was a nice, genuine, loving, funny, intelligent young man. His death is a true loss. His murder should be unacceptable and his killer(s) must be brought to justice.
This is a loss for all of us. All death is painful for those left behind. But when someone you love is murdered …these young men that have died at the hands of other young men, the loss of their lives is wrong. The chaos, pain, confusion, anger and hatred born of these deaths is wrong. The scapegoating, the protection of the guilty, it’s all just wrong. That is all I can feel, that is all I can think; this is so wrong.
See also: When Seattle Let Love Die