Rainier Beach teen dies in his mother’s arms on Mother’s Day

SEATTLE — By all accounts, Conner Dassa-Holland was as exceptional as he was loved.

The 18-year-old was the captain of the football team at Rainier Beach High School, senior class president, a mentor to younger students, a suicide prevention counselor, and he had been accepted to 19 colleges before deciding to attend UW last year.

So many people attended the teenager’s vigil that police officers had to shut down the roads to his house.

“Nobody is ready for this. We’re not ready for this,” said his mother.

Mother’s Day will never be the same for Alicia Dassa. Her son was gunned down right outside their home and it appeared to be a random shooting.

Dassa-Holland died in his mother’s arms.

“But I got to hold my baby. I got to tell him that I love him and that he wasn't alone and that we would always be with him,” she said, “most people don’t get that.”

People at the vigil made it clear that Conner was as loving and kind as he was popular. School counselors and coaches were praising the teenager for his exceptional attitude and potential.

Seattle Police say the teen was shot in his vehicle Sunday night. Detectives have yet to arrest a suspect or release a motive.

Officers performed first aid on the victim until Seattle Fire Department Medics took the victim to Harborview Medical Center, where the victim later died.

“The person who did this to my boy, they needed a hug. They needed more love,” Conner’s mother says.

She’s urging youths in the neighborhood to remember her son before engaging in violence.

“This is our community and we will not have it anymore,” she says, “and for the rest of our lives, we're going to make sure that Conner’s death was not in vain.”

Homicide detectives responded to the scene and continue to investigate.

If you have any information in this case, please call the homicide tip line at 206-233-5000.