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A year later, Hilltop remembers shooting victim while police still seek suspect

One year after shooting death, victims family and friends vow to 'never let this go'

Family and friends of Steven Speakman gather at the spot along Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Tacoma where he was shot and killed Nov. 3, 2015.
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Family and friends of Steven Speakman gather at the spot along Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Tacoma where he was shot and killed Nov. 3, 2015.

Neighbors, business owners and family members gathered Thursday afternoon outside the Broken Spoke in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood to remember Steven Speakman, a neighbor who was shot and killed a year ago.

Speakman’s death shook the community and continues to haunt those who knew him.

“We’ll never let this go, we want to know who took our Steven from us,” said Linda Atchley, a family friend. “We’ll be here until they find out.”

Tacoma police detectives are still searching for those responsible for his death. Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers has a $1,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest of suspects in the case. Tips can be called into 800-222-TIPS (8477).

Speakman was found by a neighbor at 6:15 a.m. Nov. 3, 2015, in front of a business in the 1000 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way, about two blocks from where he lived.

“The Stevie I knew, I would walk out of my apartment door look up and he would be waving at me, and Steven smiled all the time. He loved everybody, he loved helping people,” Atchley said. “Steven was definitely one we loved.”

Following Speakman’s death, family and friends — many of them local business owners — said they couldn’t understand why someone would shoot the 26-year-old who had the intellectual capacity of a 10-year-old.

“I don’t know anybody that didn’t like him. If you met Steven, you liked him,” Kenton Dale, owner of Hilltop Loans on South 11th Street, said following his death.

Dale knew Speakman nearly his entire life.

Speakman regularly walked around the neighborhood and offered to help local businesses by vacuuming or running errands for employees. He also would stop in to talk.

He was known for his hugs and kind heart, according to friends and family.

Staff photographer Dean J. Koepfler contributed to this report.

Brynn Grimley: 253-597-8467, @bgrimley

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