Friday will mark 10 years since six people were killed by a single gunman in an early morning shooting rampage at a Capitol Hill house party. The victims were 14-year-old Melissa Moore, 15-year-old Suzanne Thorne, 21-year-old Christopher Williamson, 22-year-old Justin Schwarz, 26-year-old Jeremy Martin, and 32-year-old Jason Travers.
As with so many mass shootings since, there is still no real explanation for what prompted 28-year-old Kyle Huff to embark on what was likely the most violent 10 minutes in Capitol Hill history. Stories and letters published in the days following the tragedy painted Huff as an introverted and isolated young man. Those who knew him from his hometown of Whitefish, Montana remembered him and his twin brother as inseparable outcasts, quiet and shy. Huff’s north Seattle landlord described him as respectful.
On the night of the shooting, residents of the 22nd and E Republican house were hosting an afterparty following a rave, billed Better Off Undead, at the now-shuttered Capitol Hill Arts Center on 12th Ave. Huff was reportedly invited to the house while at the rave, but was not close with anyone at either party. After arriving to the house and making some small talk, Huff left. A short time later he returned, heavily armed, just before sunrise.
Across the intersection, a longtime resident named Susan was looking for her morning newspaper when she noticed a man across the street spray painting “NOW” on the sidewalk.
She thought it was strange but not alarming, and went back inside. Minutes later Susan heard what she initially thought were firecrackers. Then came the screams. She went outside again and watched as the man she saw spray painting emerged from the house, placed the barrel of a shotgun in his mouth, and pulled the trigger. “It was very traumatic,” she said. “I remember it all.” Continue reading