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Dori: Unless we stop de-policing, Licton Springs murder won’t be the last

More people are living in vehicles in King County than last year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

I fear this is going to happen more and more — a Ravenna man, 55-year-old John Davis, is facing a second-degree murder charge for allegedly shooting a drug vagrant. Davis had had his house broken into on multiple occasions and was certain he knew which of the homeless addicts in his neighborhood was responsible.

According to prosecutors, he became fixated on this homeless guy, Daniel Alberto, 26. Last Thursday, Davis allegedly shot and killed Alberto in Licton Springs.

Davis claimed he acted in self-defense. According to charging documents, as reported by the Seattle Times:

Davis has harbored significant animosity towards the victim Alberto and the local homeless community for months … Davis was fixated on exacting consequences on the man who broke his window, Alberto, and made statements on several occasions that he might have to take matters into his own hands with regard to fighting crime.

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Alberto’s housing status is apparently unclear. Davis grabbed his gun and confronted people while armed, which Seattle police had warned him not to do. On one occasion, Davis followed a man he had caught trespassing on his property, then called 911 and told the dispatcher he had a gun and was taking justice into his own hands.

Shortly after, Davis reported that a homeless man had broken one of his windows. Davis apparently kept calling police about the broken window, and told police he had a photo of the person who had broken the window. Before the shooting, Davis had allegedly followed Alberto around.

While in Licton Springs on his way back to his neighborhood, he claimed that he spoke to Alberto from his car, while Alberto came to the car armed with a knife and threatened him. Davis claimed he feared for his life. Surveillance video says that Alberto never walked in front of Davis’ car, though detectives did find a knife by his body.

I’m telling you right now, this is going to happen more and more with the de-policing in Seattle. You heard the story that we had exclusively a couple of months ago about the woman in Magnolia. There was a crazy guy who was breaking into her house, claiming it was his house, refusing to leave, and terrorizing her on a daily basis.

We talked with this homeowner, and her brother decided to get a neighborhood vigilante group together made up of armed former cops and military members to go after the squatter. I had to talk him down; I said, “Look, you’re going to be the one who ends up in prison.”

But the more we de-police in Seattle — coupled with the fact that we have a city council that is enticing as many drug vagrants as possible to our city — the more citizens are going to feel like they need to take the law into their own hands, and the more guys like this are going to end up in prison because of it.

I am not at all advocating for what this guy in Licton Springs did. I am talking about reality. And the reality is, the more drug vagrants we bring to the city, the more you’re going to have citizens who feel fear every day in their own neighborhoods, who feel a helpless desperation, and who get pushed over the edge to take the law into their own hands.

It shouldn’t happen. But until we have a mayor, city council, and police department that fixes this, it will continue to happen. It’s a dangerous combination: Drug criminals and taxpaying citizens who feel like the police are not helping them.

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