SEATTLE — A disturbing video released by Seattle police shows the moments that led up to a shooting of two women in the Central District. The video includes 911 calls — and you can hear the desperation in a young woman’s voice as she pleads for help after getting shot.
Investigators now believe the woman was randomly attacked. Sgt. Randy Huserik said in an email, “At the briefing the night of the shooting, information was released indicating a possible relationship between the victims and the suspect. I can now tell you that as the investigation has progressed, it now appears that there is no connection between the victims and the suspect.”
Family members identified the woman who died as 23-year-old Anais Valencia. She passed away on the way to the hospital. The King County Medical Examiner’s office said the cause of death was homicide by multiple gunshot wounds.
She and a friend were sitting in a car waiting for a friend when they were both shot.
Her family shared photos of her, with dark-brown, curly hair and a big smile in every photo.
23 y/o Anais Valencia is the young woman shot & killed in Seattle’s Central District. Her family sent me photos & statement - she’s the one with dark curly hair.— Deedee Sun (@DeedeeKIRO7) February 12, 2021
People say she was here w/ a friend to pick up another friend, when suspect Greg Taylor randomly shot & killed her. pic.twitter.com/91CFErAXl9
“Anais was a beloved daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and cousin. She was a young college student (at Tacoma Community College) who aspired to be a veterinarian. She lived life to the fullest and always had a big smile on her face,” said Corey and Elaina Green in a statement. “We are heartbroken and still trying to process this senseless act,” the Greens said.
They added, “She has no connection with the suspect, and any information otherwise is 100% inaccurate. Please let our family mourn and don’t spread false information or rumors.”
The video released by police starts with someone who lives inside the Urban League Village Apartments calling 911. You can hear gunshots in the background of the call.
“There’s a man outside in the park — Jimi Hendrix Park. I think he’s — (gunfire sounds) — he’s shooting, I see the gun in his hand,” the caller says.
The suspect is identified as 45-year-old Greg Taylor. In the video, he walks across the parking lot shared by the apartment complex and NAAM, the Northwest African American Museum. He approaches a blue car that is running, occupied by Valencia and her friend. It appears at first like he is speaking with them.
Then the video shows Taylor banging on the windshield with his pistol. The video does not show him shooting.
Next, you hear the 911 call coming from inside the car — it’s Valencia’s friend who is speaking.
Dispatch: What is your emergency?
Caller: My friend just got shot, me and my friend just got shot. I don’t know where we are, we just got shot like three times, I don’t even —
Dispatch: Do you know a cross street where you’re at?
Caller: No I don’t know where I am, my friend is dying. She got shot in the face, please come, please come.
They track the call to the 2300 block of Massachusetts Ave. The call continues with Seattle Fire on the line.
Dispatch/Fire: What’s going on there? Caller: they’re shooting, come now, please! We just got shot. I’m going to die, we’re going to die!
Dispatch/Fire: how many people have been shot?
Caller: Two! Please come now! My friend is dying!
Below is video the Seattle Police Department released of Tuesday’s officer-involved shooting. (Warning, the audio and video is jarring)
Friends came by the scene Thursday afternoon to drop off flowers and grieve.
Omari Salisbury, who runs Converge Media, said Valencia and her friend were picking up the son of someone he works with.
“This young man was walking out to that car forgot his laptop, went upstairs to get it, and that’s when the gunman shot up the car,” Salisbury said in a Converge broadcast on Thursday.
“We need to have enough courage to talk about — what happened there was wrong. It was wrong. This man randomly fired into a car of innocent people! It was wrong. Period!” Salisbury said.
Salisbury said over the phone that several members of Converge Media live at the apartments too. In the broadcast, Salisbury said the situation was personal and was visibly upset.
The body camera video released by SPD also shows the moments after officers arrived.
A ‘bang’ is heard in the video. “He just fired a shot,” an officer says. Gunshots continue in the background. “Same dude is firing,” an officer says.
The video then shows Taylor approaching officers.
“Drop the gun! Put your hands up and drop the gun, Seattle Police!” an officer shouts. “Drop the gun now!” officers shout. Then multiple officers open fire.
SPD zoomed in on the video to show the gun in Taylor’s hand, pointing the weapon at police. Officers say Taylor opened fire first.
Taylor’s loved ones said on Wednesday night at the scene that they can’t imagine the man they knew doing this.
A sizable memorial for Taylor has also formed at the spot where he died.
It’s something Salisbury says is tough for friends of the victims to see.
“This mom, she can’t bring her son home, because all around the building there are memorials to the guy who killed his friend,” Salisbury said. “There is the name of the person who in cold blood killed his friends,” he said.
Coast Property Management, which runs the apartments, confirmed that Taylor was a resident at the Urban League Village Apartments and said he also did some maintenance work at the facility. They said in a statement:
“We are heartbroken about this tragedy, and our thoughts and concerns are with the individuals involved and their families. We’re limited in what we can share out of respect for the privacy of everyone involved, but we can confirm that Gregory Taylor was a resident at Urban League Village. He also worked at the building five hours per week cleaning the facility and grounds, which is a role he held when we took over management of the property in 2018.
“We follow our prescribed procedures for addressing any resident actions that violate our community standards. Those procedures include alerting building ownership, and law enforcement when necessary. We are cooperating with the Seattle Police Department to assist in the investigation of this issue. — Susan Pickering, chief operating officer, Coast Property Management”
Cox Media Group