In 2013, four men were killed on Capitol Hill but the cases won’t end with murder trials in the new year.
Capitol Hill’s 2013 homicides include two police shootings, one gun death still being investigated and the death of a man under tragic circumstances that started a year earlier in 2012 — Freddie Lee Kibby died in March 2013 at the age of 48 from injuries suffered in a seemingly pointless altercation at a barbecue the previous summer.
The cases add to a trend in the city in which police are responsible for more Seattle homicides than prosecutors have filed charges for. Of the 29 homicides thus far in Seattle in 2013, six of the deaths were the result of SPD shootings.
On Capitol Hill, police shot and killed two men in 2013.Leonid Kalyuzhnyy, 51, died in an altercation with police early on November 29th. Kalyuzhnyy, known to friends as Len or Lenny, died from a single gunshot wound to the chest. East Precinct officer Brad Devore shot Kalyuzhnyy early November 29th after the man allegedly fired a shot from a window of his 23rd and John apartment building. A county inquest into the incident — routine in use of force incidents like this — will likely follow.
Earlier this year on the morning of July 5th, Bellevue Ave resident Joel Reuter engaged SPD SWAT units in an hours-long standoff from inside his 5th floor condo before opening fire with a handgun and being shot dead by police. His family is working to change mental health laws they say prevented them from getting the 28-year-old the help he needed.
Police also shot to death the gunman in January 2013’s Twilight Exit shooting in the Central District.
While the acts that lead to the deaths of Kalyuzhnyy and Reuter came in the course of enforcing law and order, Freddie Lee Kibby died in a chaotic melee following a lifetime of bad choices.
At around 10 PM on July 23, 2012, Kibby was driving down Summit between Olive and Howell. According to police reports, Kibby began arguing with three men who had joined a barbecue on the steps between The Summit Inn and the Curben Hotel. The Summit Inn resident who hosted the barbecue told CHS he didn’t know the three men who had joined his cookout, but that they were staying at the Curben. Others on the block said one of the men went by the name “Green Eyed Pete.”
A half hour after the argument, Kibby returned toting a Remington 870 sawed off shotgun. He allegedly approached the three men on the steps, pointing the shot gun in their direction. A witness told police the men attempted to get Kibby to put down the gun. When that didn’t work, the trio “swarmed” the man and a fight ensued. “Pete” struck Kibby with the shotgun multiple times in the head, witnesses told police.
CHS couldn’t find any record of Kibby living in Capitol Hill, although he did have a significant criminal history, including domestic violence, drug crimes and possession of stolen property. In 2007 Kibby, also known as “D” or “Detroit,” was arrested for stabbing a man in the stomach outside of the Fremont Inn Motel on Aurora. Kibby was sentenced to nearly two years in prison for the assault.
Rich Dillard, manager at the The Summit Inn, told CHS he arrived at the scene of the 2012 fight just as Kibby was getting swarmed. Once Pete wrestled the gun away from Kibby, Dillard said the man began violently swinging the firearm at Kibby’s head. “He went after him like he was going for a hole in one,” Dillard said.
When police arrived, Kibby was on the ground lying in puddles of his own blood. Dillard said he saw Kibby stand on his own. Kibby was taken to Harborview Medical Center and eventually released to a long-term care facility where he died from his injuries in March 2013.
The circumstances around another 2013 Capitol Hill shooting death seem to be equally senseless. 19-year-old Tilahun Alemayehu died in July after being shot several times in an early morning incident on 10th Ave at E Pine. Alemayehu was found bleeding in the street in front of a white Cadillac. Police arrested a 19-year-old as he attempted to flee through Cal Anderson and recovered a handgun but prosecutors have yet to file charges in the case.
Similarly, police took three men in the Kibby incident into custody for questioning at the time of the assault but no charges were filed in the death.
East Precinct homicide detectives had one murder case to contend with in 2012 — we reported in January on the one-year-later status of the Darek Darewski case. That Harvard Ave shooting death remains unsolved.