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‘Lost for words’ — Family identifies 19-year-old gunned down on E Union

A fundraiser page to help pay for the 19-year-old’s funeral expenses is here

Family has identified the young man killed Friday afternoon in a Central District shootout at 21st and Union as Royale Lexing.

“We are all lost for words,” a fundraiser page created to help pay his funeral expenses reads. “This handsome, smart, young man did not deserve this! We can all agree Royale kept everyone smiling when he was in your presence.”

Saturday night, family and loved ones gathered at the scene of the shooting and created a memorial of flowers, candles, balloons, a bottle of Hennessy, and a pack of Juicy Fruit chewing gum. The candles were still burning Sunday morning when CHS visited the scene.

According to court records, Lexing listed a Rainier Valley address as of late last year.

HIs Facebook page says he was a 2017 graduate of Garfield High School.

The 19-year-old was found dead by police outside Swedish Cherry Hill where he was rushed by private vehicle after multiple shooters exchanged fire in a chaotic scene along E Union Friday just after 3 PM.

Two other male victims were also shot and wounded in the Friday incident. Two more shootings — one along Rainier and the other at 28th and Jackson — also sent at least two more people to the hospital late Friday and early Saturday morning.

The murder and the weekend incidents have added to a string of shootings across the Central District and Capitol Hill in the week’s following the March slaying of a 21-year-old gunned down at the basketball court in Cal Anderson.

A SPD spokesperson said Friday there has been a gang emphasis patrol underway in the Central District.

“We do actually have a gang emphasis going on in this neighborhood now,” Detective Patrick Michaud said. Sergeant Sean Whitcomb said recent decisions around safety and street crime clean-ups in downtown and a select set of Seattle neighborhoods haven’t reduced resources for the East Precinct.

“Just so everyone knows, there’s been a lot of discussion about these safety and maintenance emphasis patrols which have a very specific design and strategy,” Whitcomb said Friday. “Separately, the Seattle Police Department is very concerned about gun violence and has been and will continue to do gun violence emphasis with our gang unit in this neighborhood and other neighborhoods affected by gun violence.”

Whitcomb said the gun violence emphasis effort “ebbs and flows as the data shows that we need to do more.”

Earlier this month, Mayor Jenny Durkan and Seattle Police announced a “Pre-Summer Emphasis Program” in seven neighborhoods to try to get ahead of summer street crime and violence. Capitol Hill and the Central District were not included in the plan.

In addition to the gang emphasis patrols that SPD says have been underway around the Central District and Pike/Pine, the department says its longterm efforts including social program to curb gun violence are working. The victims of gun violence are disproportionately young and black — 52% of Seattle shooting victims in 2018 were black.

Expect gun violence, and the policing and social efforts to curb it to be the subject of discussion this week as those vying for the District 3 City Council seat take part in a Speak Out Seattle candidates forum Tuesday night at the Northwest African American Museum.

As of Monday morning, SPD had announced no arrests in the murder or the weekend’s area shootings. Police are looking for the public’s help. Anyone with information is encouraged to call SPD’s tip line at (206) 233-5000.

“The Seattle Police Department gang unit and anti-crime teams will continue to conduct emphasis patrols in neighborhoods affected by gun violence,” SPD’s brief on the shootings reads.

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