SEATTLE — The tragic shooting spree that killed two men in 2019, including a retired colonel for the Navy and Air Force, still weighs heavy on the minds of many in the Lake City neighborhood in Seattle.
On Sunday, the Steering Committee of the Lake City Memorial Triangle held a dedication ceremony at the memorial garden to honor both the lives lost as well as the survivors of the shooting.
The family of Robert Hassan came to the ceremony and his daughter, Wendy, told neighbors the garden is the perfect tribute to her father.
“And I think that this community has created is a very fitting tribute to my father’s memory in that way,” Hassan said.
Memories of that day are still tough for the two who survived: Deborah Judd and former metro bus driver Eric Stark.
“And there was a young man and looked me in the eye and shot at me 3 times,” Judd said.
Stark was shot in the torso. He was able to drive away to safety. He says he thinks about what happened to him daily.
“I still have nerve pain. I still jump when I hear sharp noises,” Stark said.
But through the pain they have dealt with the past few years, Judd says the pain from that tragic day is felt by so many still.
“And then I realized that the neighbors are still in different stages of grieving for what happened,” Judd said.
“You know, Bob and Richard lost their lives that day. And this is a memorial to them,” Stark said.
Both Stark and Judd say the garden is an amazing tribute to both Hassan and Lee. They also believe everything planted in that garden shows how powerful a community can be in the face of tragedy.
“It’s a reminder of the perseverance and resilience of neighbors coming together in the face of tragedy,” Stark said. “If we are going to solve some of the problems we face as a society today, we need to be able to come together. Face to face. And work together.”
Organizers of Sunday’s ceremony say the garden also brings awareness not only to the two men who were killed back in 2019 but to everyone who has lost their lives to gun violence.
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