Mother suing Capitol Hill Block Party over daughter’s death last year

Jun 18, 2024, 7:55 AM

capitol hill block party...

Essence Greene-Madden in between her parents (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

The mother of a Federal Way woman who was killed at the Capitol Hill Block Party last year is suing the event’s organizers.

Essence Greene-Madden, 20, was hit by a stray bullet last summer as she tried to leave the annual event, which was blocked by illegal street racing. Four people were shot in total. Police were already on the scene attempting to end the street racing, but a crowd of approximately 500 people “interfered with the response,” according to KING 5.

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Greene-Madden died at Harborview Medical Center after being in “critical condition” for three days after the shooting.

“Essence was an embodiment of joy, love, and life itself,” Charlene Greene wrote for a GoFundMe for the victim’s family. “Her vibrant personality, infectious laughter, and illuminating smile transformed any room she entered into a haven of warmth. Those privileged enough to have known her will always remember her as a force of nature and a beacon of light.”

Her mother, Tina Madden, told KIRO 7 the organizers did the bare minimum to keep people safe, stating they simply put up barriers and left, leaving her daughter no way out once the street racing started.

“The publicity was all towards the street racing,” Madden told KIRO 7. “What about the people that threw this block party? What was your security measures? What were things that should have been in place? Why were the police not able to get through the barricades at that hour of the morning?”

Greene-Madden hopes the lawsuit creates accountability for organizations such as the Capitol Hill Block Party.

“When things are being planned like this, they should really think this plan out for the safety of the people that are there,” Greene-Madden told KIRO 7. “They’re just there to have a good time.”

The next Capitol Hill Block Party is scheduled for July 19, slightly more than a month away.

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Contributing: KIRO 7

Frank Sumrall is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here and you can email him here.

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