Tim Clifford
A memorial with flowers, candles and a sign bearing the motto “No justice, no peace” on the corner of S.W. Barton St. and 16 Ave. S.W. for murder victim Stephen Jeffries.

Who shot Stephen Jeffries? Slain man’s family and friends push for answers in New Year’s Eve murder

By Tim Clifford

As the sun was setting on May 1st and the May Day demonstrations were getting into full swing in downtown Seattle, a demonstration of a different, quieter kind was being held on the corner of S.W. Barton St. and 16th Ave. S.W. Family, friends and neighbors gathered with candles to hold a vigil for Stephen Jeffries, the man who was murdered on that very same street on New Year’s Eve.

Green, blue and white balloons and signs with Jeffries’s face and the motto “No justice, no peace” adorned a nearby fence while revelers wore green and blue bands on their wrists, a nod to Jeffries’s love for the Seahawks. Organized by Jeffries’s oldest daughter, Denise, this was the second gathering in the pursuit for answers this week along with a fundraiser that was held at the Puerto Vallarta restaurant on Apr.26. “It was a really, really good turnout…we raised about $2000 in just under two hours” said Denise of the results last Saturday’s fundraiser.

The corner where the vigil was held was across the street from the residence where Jeffries was murdered. Throughout the evening Denise could be seen pointing out to those who stopped by the house and the spot on the curb where her father was killed. With nearly 100 people in attendance and holding candles a pervasive feeling of community was matched with a feeling of frustration.

“It has been months and there have still been no arrests, no nothing,” explained Denise before leading those gathered in moment of silence. A few minutes later a specially chosen prayer was read aloud asking for justice as well as peace.

On New Year’s Eve Jeffries was attending a party when he was shot and killed shortly after arriving. A woman who was also in attendance was shot in the hand as well. A 20 year employee of the City of Seattle Public Utilities Jeffries’s was survived by his four daughters ranging in age from 4 to 23. The showing of support on this corner of White Center showed that he also left behind many friends as well.

Despite the large number of people in attendance who witnessed everything that happened no one has come forward with any answers. The reward money being offered is now up to nearly $4000 with money pooled from the Crime Stoppers hotline, the fundraiser, and money collected by Jeffries’s friends earlier this year.

“If you know something you can call anonymously and again you are not a snitch, you are a hero,” offered Denise as a message to anyone who has information that could lead to an arrest.

Anyone with tips about that night or about anyone who may be involved in the murder are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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