Local chef murdered in light rail attack; search continues for suspects

May 11, 2024, 8:24 PM | Updated: May 13, 2024, 5:56 pm

Photo: The man King County prosecutors said killed a chef at the Capitol Hill Link light rail stati...

Seattle’s restaurant community is grieving the death of one of its own. A chef was murdered — stabbed to death — in the Capitol Hill light rail station Saturday night.

Now the search is on for his killers.

We are learning that the 37-year-old victim was a chef at Harry’s Fine Foods on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. After getting word of the chef’s death, the owners of Harry’s Fine Foods shut down on what would have been a busy Mother’s Day. The owners plan to be closed tomorrow, too.

That’s just how deeply this tragedy is being felt here. A bouquet of flowers and a sign, all indications that this was no ordinary Mother’s Day at this small neighborhood restaurant.

“Any time that that happens it’s always a real person,” said Eedie DeRoest.

The 37-year-old chef at Harry’s Fine Foods mattered to DeRoest. He was her coworker for the month and a half she has worked here.

She was asked how she was doing.

“I mean, I don’t know,” she said, sadness in her voice. “I don’t pretend I knew him very well, you know. I’m sorry for his family and friends. I can only imagine.”

Eyewitnesses say about a half mile away at the Capitol Hill Light Rail station, he got into an altercation with two men that quickly turned violent. Seattle police say he was stabbed multiple times. Good Samaritans tried to stop the bleeding, but he later died at Harborview Medical Center.

His death is hitting Seattle’s close-knit restaurant community hard.

“We’re all connected, somehow,” said Shea Bigger, a local bar server. “We all have mutual friends. So, it does, you know, you feel it.”

In a statement, Sound Transit insists the light rail system is safe. There have been 3.4 million riders on light rail and just 47 assaults through February. But in its 15-year-life, three riders have died here, two of them since January.

“It was going to be a big day,” said DeRoest. “We were all trying to get like ‘eat your wheaties, you know. It’s going to be a big day.’”

DeRoest says the owners made the right decision to close on Mother’s Day, even on a potentially big revenue day. Her coworker’s death is a stark reminder of life’s uncertainty.

“It’s just you never know what’s going to happen,” she said.

Sound Transit insists these deadly attacks are rare. Still, they plan to increase security at the Capitol Hill station to make riders feel safer.

There are cameras throughout the light rail system, so Seattle police probably have some idea of what these suspects look like.

But anyone with information that could help catch the culprits is asked to call 911.


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Local chef murdered in light rail attack; search continues for suspects