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The Stranger on Joel Reuter — ‘The guy who’d make you laugh’

Two women check with police in the aftermath of the July 5th shooting (Image: CHS)

Two women check with police in the aftermath of the July 5th shooting (Image: CHS)

On July 5th, 28-year-old Capitol Hill resident Joel Reuter was shot and killed by police, ending an eight-hour standoff. In the wake of the shooting, the man’s friends told CHS about Reuter’s battle with mental illness. This week, the Stranger talks with the people who knew Reuter about his life and what happened to the friend they loved:

Death of a Regular
Joel Reuter used to drink at Montana, a black-lacquered, lovingly graffitied Capitol Hill bar with lots of regulars and cheap cocktails on tap. His apartment was only a few blocks away. Most mornings, Joel would wake up and walk his floppy-eared toy King Charles spaniel, Telly, to meet his friends at Analog Coffee. Then he went to work at a job he loved near South Lake Union—he was a software developer. Then after work, he and Telly (who was named after the Radiohead song “Planet Telex”) would wander down to the dark and cozy Montana for happy hour. Joel would grab a seat at the bar, order a Moscow Mule on tap, and gently flirt with the bartender, David, until his friends arrived. He was a great listener, and jokester, but rather private about his personal life. More…

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3 thoughts on “The Stranger on Joel Reuter — ‘The guy who’d make you laugh’

  1. Thank you for sharing the link to this article. A tragic story, indeed. I hope a better understanding of this man’s life and the circumstances that led to his death will help prevent such events from happening in the future. My best to the people who loved Joel, and who were loved by him in return.

  2. I don’t think I can say it any better than David did. A heartbreaking story, and one that the Stranger managed to tell it in a very compassionate way. I hope that it raises awareness of bipolar disorder, and how destructive it can be. And I hope that it helps people understand that Joel was a good person who shouldn’t be remembered by what happened on July 5th, but by who he really was. I didn’t know him, but I really feel for those who did. He sounds like he was a great guy.

  3. A lot of compassion was shown in the Stranger article, that of course was not shown by Seattle police. Even bears and other wild animals are shot with tranquilizers instead of just blown away like what happened to Joel Rueter. As I said before the two cops Chad Zentner and Jeff Geoghagan were heavily protected and had high powered rifles that could have had tranquilizers in them instead. Jeff Geoghagan shot DeOntrel Davis, a black teenager in the back of the head in 2002. DeOntrel was fleeing the police at the time. The back of his head had to be pieced together for the funeral. This was clearly a murder. For more information on the national and local epidemic of police brutality go to October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality Seattle facebook page.