Suspect in fatal Capitol Hill shooting misses first court appearance

Apr 3, 2023, 6:21 PM | Updated: Apr 13, 2023, 10:03 am

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(Photo courtesy of SPD)

(Photo courtesy of SPD)

A man suspected of killing a 23-year-old civil rights activist and wounding a 9-year-old child in Seattle waived his right to attend his initial court appearance Monday.

Prosecutors stated on April 1, 23-year-old Elijah Lewis was driving in a red Toyota Camry with his 9-year-old nephew when they got into a confrontation with the suspect, who was riding a scooter near the intersection of Broadway and East Pine Street in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

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According to court documents, the suspect pulled out a gun and fired into the car three times, striking Lewis and the child. Lewis then kept driving for a short time until his vehicle hit a parked car on Harvard Avenue and came to a stop.

Both Lewis and the boy were taken to Harborview Medical Center, where Lewis later died from his injuries. The boy required stitches, but was released from the hospital on Sunday.

On Monday’s initial court appearance, the judge ordered the 35-year-old suspect to be held on a $2 million bail. The judge also found probable cause to hold the suspect on investigation for second-degree murder and first-degree assault.

“He took my brother away from me, and my family, and the community here,” Elijah’s brother Mario Dunham said after the hearing.

Elijah Lewis was known for his activism and community involvement, particularly in South Seattle. He was a well-known member of the Africatown Community Land Trust. Much of his work addressed gun violence, something his family hopes will continue even now.

“I want my brother’s legacy to be one of change, of understanding, of moving forward,” said Dunham. “I want people to remember my brother for the positive person he was. I want them to remember him for the influence he had in the Central District and the south end.”

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The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said it anticipates getting a case referral from the police so official charges can be filed later this week.

The suspect’s next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday, April 5.

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