Family remembers aspiring musician killed in SR 509 shooting

UPDATE: WSP Detectives solved the murder of aspiring musician Tanaa Money.

23-year-old Emilio Paypay from Tacoma was found guilty of first-degree murder on Friday. Another suspect pleaded guilty and a third is being extradited back to WA state.

WSP says 21-year-old Ali Sharif, another suspect in the shooting, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in April.

The third suspect, 28-year-old Adam Mohamed, is currently in custody in Turkiye awaiting extradition back to the U.S. for a murder charge.

The three are accused of killing 20-year-old James Richardson while he was driving on SR 509 back in 2019. Authorities say the shooting happened near the Cloverdale St. exit.

Below is the story we did with Richardson’s family in 2019:

A man has died after being shot while driving on State Route 509 Sunday evening.

The family of 20-year-old James Richardson says he was an aspiring musician who was beginning to get attention from listeners and Seattle-based music outlets.

"His music touched everyone. There was people from out of state that didn't know my brother and said 'I don't know who you are but I've heard your song and it's dope,'" said Richardson's older sister Dellicia McGee. "Like my brother's music traveled and it touched a lot of souls."

Richardson, known by fans as Tanaa Money, grew up in South Seattle in the Rainier Beach neighborhood.

"He used to always wake me up and say 'Mom, mom I love you. I’m home.' And I’d say 'Thank you son for waking me up to let me know you’re home so I can sleep in peace knowing my baby’s home,'" his mother Keshia McGee said.

Richardson's uncle Tim McGee says James was very much loved and leaves behind a 2-year-old son.

"His music came from a place it came from his heart. You know he rapped about his son. He rapped about his relationship. He rapped about his struggles," Tim said.

Washington State Patrol shut down SR 509 just after 8:30 p.m. Sunday after Richardson was shot and killed. Detectives are investigating and searching for the shooter.

Richardson's vehicle was traveling SB SR 509 near Cloverdale when an individual in an unknown vehicle fired and struck him causing his vehicle to strike the barrier that divides the north and southbound lanes. The passenger in Richardson's vehicle was unable to provide a description of the vehicle that the shots came from.

"I got this call that they took my baby and I won’t hear him shaking me saying 'Mom I’m home.' I can’t hear that no more. I’m sleeping in his room. That’s the closest thing I can get to my son. Laying in his bed wishing he would come home," Keshia said.

Detectives were able to recover items of that were placed into evidence and are being analyzed at the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab.

WSP detectives are seeking anyone with information about this tragic incident. You can contact Detective Sergeant Stacy Moate at (425) 401-7745 or by email at

If you wish to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. Submit the information anonymously at or by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). You can also use the P3 Tips App on your cell phone.