Parents expected to support students returning to Garfield High School following deadly shooting

SEATTLE — Seattle parents are expected to show up at Garfield High School Tuesday morning to support students as they return to class for the first time since the deadly shooting.


A large makeshift memorial, filled with flowers and signs, is growing at the bottom of a staircase at Garfield High School to remember 17-year-old Amarr Murphy-Paine who was shot to death on campus last Thursday.

Police said they are searching for a teenage suspect responsible for his death.

As of Monday evening, police said they are not releasing any updates on the case, but said parents, teachers and students can expect more officers near Garfield High School until the end of the academic year.

“Our priority is making sure everyone is safe. Seattle police will be visible before and after the school day. Additional officers will also be on patrol in the area when they aren’t responding to other dispatched calls. Protecting our young people is a crucial part of our commitment to the community,” a spokesperson wrote in a statement.

Classes at Garfield High School have been canceled since Friday. Students are expected to return Tuesday morning.

We reached out to the school district for more details. We’re still waiting to hear back.


KIRO 7 News spoke with James Sears, senior pastor at Grace Temple Church and the victim’s pastor.

“My breath was taken away. Heart stopped. Felt the sense of urgency I had to do something,” he said. “I am deeply saddened that he was taken away so senselessly.”

Sears said he knew Murphy-Paine since he was in 8th grade and described the young man as strong-minded and had a personality that would bring people together.

Murphy-Paine leaves behind three younger brothers, he told KIRO 7 News.

“They (brothers) were inseparable. They looked up to him. He was the oldest brother. Losing your big brother is like losing your hero, like losing your protection,” he said. “He was always a stand-up bright personality. Strong-willed kid that had an endless future. Made everyone feel comfortable that was around him. He showed respect when he was at church and on the field. He was just a loveable person.”

Sears told KIRO 7 News that he is planning a walk Thursday evening to unite the community together following the deadly shooting.

“Gun violence has definitely heightened over the last couple of years. It’s starting to get out of hand. You have people who are not old enough to drive, are getting a hold of a gun. They’re not old enough to vote, but they’re getting a hold of a gun,” he said. “Change has to happen. It’s not saying that we want it to happen. No, it needs to happen. And we’re going to be a part of that change to make sure it does happen because we cannot continue to keep losing our young people to senseless gun violence.”


Many families stopped by the growing memorial at Garfield High School to remember the high school student.

Family members told KIRO 7 News that they’re planning on showing up at the high school Tuesday morning to make sure grieving students, including Jason Rodriguez, whose nephew attends Garfield High School and knew the victim.

“He was somebody’s son. Somebody’s grandson. Somebody’s nephew. Somebody’s brother. Somebody’s cousin. He was all those things, and he will be missed by his people,” Rodriguez said.

“As a community as men, male figures in this community have to take the time out to talk to these kids and give them a message of hope and a message that’s powerful that they can understand,” he added.

We also spoke with Don Walker, whose nephew also attends Garfield High School.

The shooting personally hits close to him as his 30-year-old niece, Eboni Walker, was shot to death a few blocks away from the high school in March, he said, just hours before a Garfield High School student was shot at a bus stop near the campus.

“Right now, it’s affecting all of us. It’s affecting each and every one of us,” said Don Walker. “I’m trying to get some of the older brothers out there tomorrow too at Garfield. We’re going to be out there at Eight O’clock in the morning, show these kids support.”

“When they come back to school, they see we’re here for them.” He added, “We have to do more. We have to come together. Quit pointing the finger, let’s come together. Let’s show it to them, not tell them, let’s show it.”

A GoFundMe was created to help the Murphy-Paine’s family during this difficult time. If you would like to help, please click here.

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