Seattle renames street in Central District honoring beloved businessman killed by gun violence

A street in Seattle has a new name, honoring the life of a beloved business owner killed by gun violence.

On Wednesday, the city dedicated part of E Union St, between 21st and 22nd Avenues in the Central District, to D'Vonne Pickett Jr.

D’Vonne was a man who loved his community and always gave back to where he came from. His family, friends and community showed up by the dozens to see the emotional unveiling of D’Vonne Pickett Jr. Way, the street bearing his name.

"I’m so thankful that I was able to part of his life. Now I thank God because I’m going to be able to be part of his legacy," said Maurice Hunter, D'Vonne’s grandfather.

"To have my husband, my best friend, my parent, his name on this street—my children’s father—I think it’s just going to continue to show the youth what they can be, how impactful they can be in their community. And for me, that’s the biggest thing, because as a mother, I want my children to give back," said Keanna Rose Pickett, D'Vonne’s wife.

Near the street is D’Vonne’s mailing and shipping service business, The Postman. D’vonne and his wife created the business in 2018 to honor his great-grandfather who was a mail carrier for decades.

The Postman was the same place D’Vonne was shot and killed in Oct. 2022. His family said the shooting suspect used to be a childhood friend. 

During the street dedication, a relative said, "Let’s not forget the reason that we came here, let’s not forget the reason why we stand here." 

D’Vonne’s contributions to the Central District and the youth are what will be remembered on his street and in the city.

"I’m so proud, I’m so proud. I just wish my baby was here with us to celebrate. And for me, my journey is to keep my bay’s name alive wherever I can do that," cried Nicky Chappell, D’Vonne’s mother.

Seattle mayor Bruce Harrell and city council member Teresa Mosqueda spoke at the street dedication ceremony. Seattle City Council voted unanimously in favor of renaming the street. Mosqueda said D’Vonne’s wife and family worked diligently with the city in renaming the street.

"She reached out to the Urban League, she reached out to the Department of Transportation. It was the family who made this happen. And it will be the family and community who help remind us every day about accountability and continuing this legacy," said Mosqueda.

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His family said they hope D’Vonne Pickett Jr. Way inspires young people and his community to always give back.

Through her tears, his mother cried out, "Long live D’Vonne Pickett Junior!"