TACOMA, Wash. - Tacoma’s Eastside community is reeling less than 24 hours after a gunman killed four people before slipping out of the reach of law enforcement.
Details about the suspect and a motive were also hard to nail down Friday, but new details about the victims were released by the Tacoma Police Department and Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office.
Authorities identified the victims as 42-year-old Maria Nunez; her 19-year-old son, Emery Iese; Nunez’s brother, 22-year-old Raymond Williams; and Williams’ 22-year-old girlfriend, Natasha Brincefield.
A witness to the shooting described Thursday’s violence as an execution. The man asked FOX 13 News to conceal his identity for fear of reprisal.
"They were all good kids," said the witness. "The younger boy took care of his mom."
Late Thursday, Tacoma Police rushed to secure the scene on Tacoma’s Eastside. The shooting happened on Everett Street in the Salishan neighborhood comprised of mixed-income housing.
Police were never able to locate a suspect Thursday. On Friday investigators had not yet shared a suspect description or possible motive in the case. Tacoma City Council member Catherine Ushka and Mayor Victoria Woodards offered condolences and urged patience.
"This is heartbreaking," said Woodards. "We don’t have a lot of details now, it’s easy to get impatient with wanting to know more."
Woodards says Tacoma Police plans for boosted patrols where the department has identified crime hotspots. The department is working to fill vacant positions, many of which had been put on hold during the pandemic economic crisis. Thursday’s shooting displayed a scale of violence not seen in the South Sound in years, said Ushka, raising concern for both city leaders and neighbors.
"I’m not sure if the city of Tacoma has experienced a mass shooting of this nature," she said. "We’re not talking about a singular death which is tragic in itself, but multiple without detail gives us a different frame of concern."
Neighbors and all of Tacoma are being encouraged to join for a peace walk this Sunday at 2 p.m. at the nearby Family Investment Center in Salishan. Tacoma city officials, Cease Fire and other organizations were being finalized will join Tacoma Police and the fire department in a showing of solidarity with the community. Grief counselors are also being made available for neighbors struggling with grief.
Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information in this case and tipsters can remain anonymous. Call 1-800-222-TIPS or use the P3 Tips app on your smartphone.
There have been 27 homicides in Tacoma so far this year. Last year’s 32 recorded homicides was the most since 1994, when there were 33. The city has a population of about 220,000.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.