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Lake City murder
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Man killed Saturday night in Seattle’s Lake City neighborhood

(KIRO 7)

A 52-year-old man is being remembered after he was killed Saturday night in Lake City.

Shortly after 6 p.m., police were told of a fight in the 12500 block of 33rd Avenue N.E.

“Officers arrived and located the male victim down on the sidewalk, unresponsive,” Detective Mark Jamieson wrote. “Officers immediately began CPR and called for the Seattle Fire Department. SFD Medics arrived and continued CPR but the victim was declared deceased at the scene.”

Officers focused on a suspect after talking to witnesses, and Jamieson said he was arrested “a short distance away.”

Neighbors said there have been growing problems with drug use and violence on the block where witnesses said the victim was attacked from behind and strangled.

Susan Lohrentz, a volunteer at God’s Little Acre, said, “I was very shocked and surprised to hear this did happen.”

And people who work at God’s Little Acre, an outreach ministry for the homeless, knew the man who was killed on the sidewalk a few feet away from the center, as Derrick.

“I know that he did his laundry. I know he did other things here,” said Lohrentz.

Lohrentz, who has helped people like Derrick for 10 years, described him as a kind, friendly man. It is also a description echoed by Lake City homeless advocate John Messer. “A loving man and a good father, leaving two children behind.”

Messer said Derrick was strangled from behind at 6 p.m. by a man who was regarded around the area as volatile.

“He was prone to impulsive anger,” Messer said.

And Messer said the 39-year-old murder suspect acted out of a drunken rage, and no one in the area seemed to know what else provoked the man.

Messer said, “It is the direct consequence of black-out alcoholism.”

Jennifer Montes, a Lake City neighbor said, “Just knowing that, you know, something like that can happen with our children out here.”

Montes is one of many mothers with small children who live in public housing with a playground right across the street from where the fatal incident happened, and she said neighbors call police every day to report threats of violence and rampant drug use by people passing through the area.

Another neighbor, who didn’t want to be recognized, said “I walk here with my kids, and they’re all small and I’m scared. They recognize me. They threaten her that they want to hurt her (my daughter). They might hurt me and my kids.”

Neighbors in the area of the attack are asking for more police patrols because they said there is increasing violence at a city park near the public housing and said the murder, sadly, did not surprise them.

Police have not elaborated on what started the fight, or how the suspect and victim knew each other.

The investigation is ongoing.

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