Capitol Hill murder victim identified — UPDATE

Authorities have identified the man found dying on a Harvard Ave sidewalk after he was shot in the chest late on the night of January 17 behind Seattle Central Community College’s Capitol Hill campus.

Darek Darewski died of his wounds at the scene as police attempted to resuscitate him.

The 49-year-old was shot to death just two weeks after serving one day in jail following his guilty plea in a 2010 harassment case.


In that incident, Darewski was accused of threatening violence and calling a Boren Ave sobering center employee a “nigger” when his angry demands for cocaine were not met by the center’s staff. Darewski was thrown out of the center and returned to the scene enraged. He was arrested after banging on a window and yelling threats. In early January, he pleaded guilty to the harassment charge and was sentenced to the single day in King County Jail and 24 months of community custody.

Darewski’s last known address at the time of the November 2010 incident was a low-income housing facility in Pioneer Square. Court documents show he also carried an Alaska driver’s license.

In the Tuesday, January 17 homicide, police were called to the 1700 block of Harvard Ave at 11:16p following reports of gunfire in the area. They found a man on the sidewalk with a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Darewski’s name was not made public as authorities attempted to notify relatives of his death.

The search for the shooter, meanwhile, continues. Seattle Police have offered no updates on the first Capitol Hill murder case of 2012 since their initial report the night of the murder. At this point, we don’t know what brought Darewski to Harvard Ave that night and what transpired between him and his killer.

Witnesses have offered differing accounts of a vehicle seen in the area at the time of the shooting. One vehicle has been described as a white Crown Victoria with a wood or dark brown interior that looked like an “old style” police cruiser. Meanwhile, another witness reports seeing a car that looked more like a KIA:

My partner was out with our dog at the time, on Harvard near Denny, and also saw the white car speed off Northbound on Harvard, before turning on Olive. While she couldn’t be certain of the make, she thought it was a KIA, and included that in her account to police. 

If you have information to add, call the Seattle Police Homicide Tip Line at (206) 233-5000. SPD says anonymous tips are welcome.

UPDATE: In spring 2011, Zachary Lewis was found beaten to death on Capitol Hill. Like Darewski, the 37-year-old Lewis had struggled with homelessness and addiction. His murder has yet to be solved.

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9 thoughts on “Capitol Hill murder victim identified — UPDATE

  1. Redrobin: Well, besides the polish last name, Darek sounds like the victim might have been black. Derek is the most common white and black spellings for the name on the East Coast. I doubt they normally give out coke at his housing place normally but if addicts live there… Prison is supposedly where some of the best drugs are found. And if you want cocaine, your nearest emergency room probably has some laying around to treat welders’ optical burns.

    Getting back to reality, is anyone else wondering what SPD knows or doesn’t know? It seems like 2 weeks is a long time to figure out someone’s name and notify their family.

  2. I personally knew the victim and I must say to the person who wrote the article, this man was extremely drunk that night he was charged with “felony harassment” and was his first charge of a felony of his 50 years. He was not by no means a racist. He just said something extremely stupid in anger, like everyone else. He was also an addict who wanted desperately to change his life for the better. I shook hands with this guy 2 hours before someone took his life. What a tragedy. I hope they catch the person responsible for this crime.

  3. Thanks for adding a little bit of insight on this. I personally was a victim of a hate crime, but after the case went through the courts I found myself having sympathy for the perpetrator. He used a lot of hateful language like this, but after reviewing the court transcripts it became clear to me that the man was an addict who had trouble controlling himself. Despite the problems he caused me, I ultimately felt sorry for him. We are human and we all make mistakes.

  4. I’m truly sorry for the loss of a human life in our hood, regardless of the circumstances that may have preceded the death. Someone’s life was cut short.

  5. Long time ago Darek used to be my friend too. Tomorrow in his hometown,far away from the USA, is Darek’s funeral. We are saying GOODBYE to our friend Darek Darewski, his friends from Elementary and High School,and College.