Joe remembered at 15th and Union

When you like to smoke and it’s against the rules to have a cigarette inside, you can meet a lot of people over the years hanging out near a fence at the end of an alley off East Union. The man killed in a shocking attack Monday morning was remembered Tuesday night by his neighborhood in a candlelight vigil at the corner of 15th and Union where he died in the snow.

Candles were also lit near the alley fence where Joe liked to hang out, drink coffee, chat with the neighbors he warmed up to over the years and, yes, smoke his cigarettes. We’re not naming him, fully, yet as authorities have not been able to reach his family, according to a person close to the situation.

The 58-year-old loved dogs, loved music, had a twice a day 7-11 habit and was, if you gave him time, a friendly grump, his friends and neighbors said.

He was also being treated by Sound Mental Health, the same mental health service that was working with the man who killed him a hatchet, CHS was told.

Authorities arrested 26-year-old Capitol Hill resident Michael LaRosa within minutes of the killing on Monday. He remains jailed as prosecutors prepare charges against him.

UPDATE: Seattle Times tracked down LaRosa’s half-brother in Florida who said LaRosa was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was taking medication for his condition.

5 thoughts on “Joe remembered at 15th and Union

  1. Joe – you had some peachy friends and neighbors.

    This is my town, a city with heart and very nice ….. which confounds many people, and is all to OUR credit.

    Giving some turkeys to a food bank today, will say they are from Joe and some friends ….

    (go to the meat dept. at QFC and Safeway, tell them they are for the mission and food banks, they will barter. At the old Safeway on Broadway, the meat honcho just asked how many and gave another nickel a pound off!!!))

  2. Oh Joe, if you are the guy I think you are, your house delights me every time I walk past it. You had a odd sense of humor and you seemed a little funny, but kind. I will think of you every time I walk by your home, which is often. Peace.

  3. Thanks for this article. The memorial last night was heartfelt and moving.

    I knew Joe in passing, as a friendly neighbor who always had a pet for my dog and kind words for me. His loss will be deeply felt in our neighborhood.

    My heart goes out to all of you whom I met last night who lost a dear friend, neighbor and housemate.

    For those of you who are worried about the dogs, rest assured that they have a loving home with Joe’s housemates.

    As one neighbor said last night, life is full of both great tragedy and searing moments of beauty. Joe’s murder is a tragedy, and the neighbors standing in the snow last night with candles, poetry, song and tears were beautiful.

    Maybe Joe’s legacy will be for us to know each other better, say hello more often, and look out for each other more.


  4. Thank You Dear Neighbors! It has been a year since that most tragic day that we lost a Dear Friend, Neighbor and Housemate. Joseph, You are not forgotten. Your love and sense of fairness was felt by many. Soar Joe, Soar above the clouds my Friend. Walk the Fields of Heaven with Jake. Jake the beautiful Golden Lab that passed shortly before you from Cancer. One of the Beautiful dogs that you and Pablo loved and cared for very much. I believe Jake was waiting for You, Joe. I miss you Joe, Your Friend Forever, Steve