‘This was our role model’: Community mourns fatal shooting of Central District business owner

SEATTLE — Police have arrested a suspect in the fatal shooting in Seattle’s Central District on Wednesday evening.

Officers responded to the 1100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way at about 6:30 p.m. after receiving reports of shots fired.

911 callers reported seeing a man who had been shot and a possible gunman fleeing the scene.

Arriving officers found a man, later identified to be prominent Central District business owner D’Vonne Pickett, Jr., with multiple gunshot wounds and began providing first aid to him until Seattle Fire Department medics arrived at the scene.

Pickett was transported in critical condition to Harborview Medical Center, where he later died. Pickett leaves behind a mom, three sisters, wife, three kids and friends and family in the community.

“This was like our role model, he influenced us, like all of us looked up to him. We were all in one home and there’s no us without him,” Daajeray Morris, his sister, said.

Homicide detectives have yet to determine what led up to the shooting, but they are reviewing surveillance video and speaking with witnesses, according to Detective Patrick Michaud with the Seattle Police Department.

“He didn’t deserve what happened to him,” De’Auz’Janae Pickett, another sister, said.

At 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, detectives arrested a suspect, with the assistance of the Seattle Police Department and King County SWAT teams.

Detectives believe the suspect could be linked to another homicide and multiple-shootings around the area.

The family said they plan to continue his legacy and continue to run his business, the PostMan, in the Central District.

“Every vision my brother spoke to us about seeing, we seen it, it was no hesitation just green light. Everything he wanted it was coming for him or he already had it,” his sisters said.

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell released a statement Thursday mourning Pickett’s passing:

“I am deeply saddened by the tragic killing of D’Vonne Pickett, Jr., a father, businessman, mentor, and pillar in our Central District community. D’Vonne was known for his kindness, determination, and passion for uplifting the Seattle community and making a positive impact in the Central District with his business, The Postman, which honored the legacy of his late grandfather. Along with his family-run business, he was also a youth sports coach, giving his time and talent to mentoring our young people and shaping the next generation of leaders in this city. The profound impact he had on the Central District and Seattle will not be forgotten. I am praying for his wife KeAnna, his children, and everyone in the community who had the privilege of knowing him.

“We know gun violence affects our communities every day in different forms, and disproportionately impacts communities of color and young Black men. We cannot allow a senseless tragedy like this to be the norm in our city. I will continue to take meaningful, urgent action to comprehensively address public safety in Seattle, tackle gun violence like the public health crisis we know it is, and build a safe city for all.”