Yakima police want to speak to a man who was with a 31-year-old woman fatally shot in an alley Saturday morning.
Capt. Jay Seely, who leads the department’s detective division, said investigators are trying to get in touch with the man to get additional information on Tara Owen’s shooting.
Officers investigating a report of shots fired in the 1100 block of Folsom Avenue around 9:30 a.m. Saturday found Owen shot in the alley north of the street, according to authorities. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Yakima County Coroner Jim Curtice said an autopsy Tuesday determined Owen was killed by a shot to the chest.
Owen was remembered as a “wonderful person” by family who attended a moment of blessing ceremony Tuesday near the place where she was shot.
“She loved to laugh and be the center of attention,” said Sonya Brooklyn, Owen’s aunt, fighting back tears.
Members of the Yakima Association of Faith Communities conducted the ceremony, which is meant to promote peace and healing in the community.
“We do these services whenever there is a homicide,” said the Rev. Ken Jones, co-leader of the interfaith group and minister with the Unitarian Universalist Church in Yakima. “It’s a tragic time to come together, but we come together as a community to try to bring hope ... and healing to this place and this community and all of our hearts.”
Yakima Police Chief Matt Murray said he was there to help support Owen’s family and the community.
“The trend for violent crime has been going down in Yakima for five years, and it’s important that people know that,” Murray said. “That doesn’t diminish the loss that we have here, or the loss to our community.”
Owen’s death is the second homicide in Yakima this year, and the seventh countywide.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Yakima police at 509-575-6200 or Yakima County Crime Stoppers at 800-248-9980. Tips can also be submitted online at http://www.crimestoppersyakco.org.