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Old 05-15-2020, 05:36 AM
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Default WM, 18, son of delusional mudshark living in Seattle's coontown shot to death while moving a car


‘We have to do better:’ After son’s shooting death in Rainier Beach, mother calls for community action
Updated May 14, 2020 at 9:27 pm

After a busy Mother’s Day on Sunday, Alicia Dassa had already gone to bed when her husband asked their 18-year-old son to move their car to a spot that had opened in front of their house on 51st Avenue South in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood.

She heard gunshots.

“That’s normal around here,” Dassa said of her neighborhood. “I didn’t even get out of bed.”

But then a neighbor ran into her house and told her that her son, Conner Dassa-Holland, had just been shot. Alicia Dassa raced outside in her nightshirt and saw her car stuck atop a small rock wall. Her husband, James, was holding their son and screaming her name.

“I saw Conner and I just grabbed him and was holding him,” Alicia Dassa said this week in a phone interview. “I just held him and told him it was going to be OK and that we loved him. He still had a pulse, a strong pulse, when the ambulance arrived.”

Her son didn’t make it.

Alicia and James Dassa had to break the news to 30 family members and friends who, because of the coronavirus pandemic, weren’t allowed inside Harborview Medical Center and so had gathered on a sidewalk outside the hospital.

“I got to hold him and be with him and he wasn’t alone,” said Alicia Dassa, reflecting on the last moments she had with Conner before paramedics whisked him away. “We got to be with our boy and I feel so blessed to have had that.”

On Tuesday, 300 people attended a vigil outside the family’s house. The Seattle Police Department closed the street to traffic.

Dassa, a county employee, used the event as a call to action, convinced whoever killed her son grew up without the love and support she and her husband have poured into their five children, ages 8 to 24.

“We have to do better as a community. We have to understand this is not an issue of race — it’s an issue of sadness and poverty and broken families and not enough resources and all the things that get kids on a path that turns out bad,” she said.

Dassa is white and her husband, who works for Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, is Black. Dassa-Holland was white, and his four siblings are mixed race. The family moved to Rainier Beach in 2011 because it is a neighborhood “where other families look like us,” Dassa said.

“We really wanted the kids to grow up in an area where they’d learn from the people around us,” she said. “It didn’t just shape who we are as a family, but who the kids are as people.”

Larry Wilmore, a night supervisor at the Safeway grocery store less than 1,000 feet north of the Dassa family home, was working Sunday night when he heard three gunshots and called 911.

He didn’t learn until the next morning it was Dassa-Holland who had been killed. Last summer, Dassa-Holland worked with Wilmore at Safeway before starting his freshman year at the University of Washington.

“I was in disbelief, as I am now. Total disbelief,” said Wilmore. “I think the fact Conner wasn’t running with gangs or doing all that is why it’s super hard to believe that it happened. The whole neighborhood is in disbelief and there’s anger that it keeps happening.”

After a spike in violence 9 years ago that saw 10 people gunned down in South Seattle within a span of three to four months, seven of them in proximity to the Rainier Beach Safeway, Wilmore started Fathers And Sons Together (FAST), an organization aimed at strengthening fathers’ relationships with their children as a way to prevent youth involvement in the criminal justice system. FAST hosts basketball and baseball camps, overnight camping trips, fishing excursions, barbershop events and dad-and-daughter days for kids ages 5 and up.


Rainier Beach, Seattle

The African-American population has been slowly increasing in the neighborhood due in large part to the gentrification in other Seattle neighborhoods that has forced many Blacks to move either into the South end of the city or into the south King County suburbs. [1] Today Rainier Beach has a population of 6,006 and is roughly 55% African American, 20% Asian, 10% Caucasian, 10% Hispanic and 5% from other races. It is now one of only two neighborhoods (the other being the southern end of the Central District) in the city where Blacks make up a majority. [2] On November 25, 2014, the neighborhood became the site of several protests following the decision in Ferguson, Missouri not to indict police officer Darren Wilson over the killing of Michael Brown. [3]
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