EDITOR'S NOTE: An innocent walk home turns deadly for a 12-year-old boy

Alajawan Brown liked to play football. A couple Thursday’s ago, he took the bus to Walmart to buy some football cleats, using $20 he got from his brother to clean the kitchen.

He got off the bus on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South and headed for home up South 129th Street in Skyway. A few minutes later he was dead, caught in violent gunplay at an apartment complex.

He was an innocent child, out doing what innocent children do. Our violent world killed him. Was this gang violence? There’s no answer to that – yet.

What’s disturbing is that those who witnessed the argument and gunfire are simply refusing to come forward to help the Sheriff’s Office investigate Alajawan’s murder and the critical injuries to a man.

The unwillingness to help is a crime, too, at least a moral one. Alajawan’s family deserves answers. They are heart-sick and devastated.

And try explaining to other children of Alajawan’s age – he was just 12 – WHY he died. He did nothing wrong. He was simply walking home. Do the good die young? Or is his death just fate?

The answers might make a philosopher feel good, but not a child. Nor should it make a society feel good long lulled by such violence. The answer is to end this continuous violence and say it’s just as unacceptable in Skyway as it would be in Bellevue or Kirkland. Those places are violent, too. But I believe that the outrage is more palpable there because such violence just isn’t expected there. But it happens.

Alajawan died. His family will always remember. But if a 12-year-old can have a legacy, let it be simply that the innocent are worth protecting.

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