3 teenagers arrested in Westcrest Park murder of 15-year-old Derek Juarez-Lopez

(WSB photo from September 5th search at Westcrest Park)

10:34 AM: A month and a half after 15-year-old Derek Juarez-Lopez was stabbed to death in Westcrest Park, police have arrested three suspects.

The Seattle Times first reported last night that an 18-year-old man is in jail, bail set at $750,000. This morning, we have just obtained court documents confirming that – and police have just announced that two other suspects, both juveniles, are in custody too:

Detectives arrested an 18-year-old male and a 17-year-old male separately at residences in West Seattle on Tuesday, October 17th. The adult was booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Murder, while the juvenile was booked into the Youth Services Center (YSC) for the same charge. On October 18th, detectives arrested a 17-year-old female at a residence in West Seattle. She was booked into YSC for murder Wednesday evening. This remains an active and ongoing investigation.

As police said early in the investigation, robbery was the motive, according to the probable-cause documents for the 18-year-old’s bail hearing. He is alleged to have stabbed the victim, who, police were told, was lured into the park so that he could be robbed of marijuana he was allegedly carrying. We’ll add more details as we read through the lengthy narrative in the court documents…

ADDED 11:18 AM: According to the probable-cause documents, the 18-year-old suspect is a South Delridge resident; we haven’t found any criminal record on file for him. The narrative extensively details how police tracked the case. The victim and his family live in Arbor Heights, and he left on the day of the murder with his brother. The brother told police he was driving Derek to meet his girlfriend and dropped him off near 14th/Roxbury. Derek and the girlfriend had been communicating by a social-media messaging service so police had to get a search warrant for his phone, which was recovered, damaged, at the murder scene. Police wrote,”The texts between the two suggested that they were meeting for the reason of the sale and/or use of drugs.” (Marijuana is the only “drug” mentioned in the narrative.) They found the girlfriend and interviewed her the same day Derek died. They say she admitted leading him to an area of the park – near where she lives – where she said three men armed with knives jumped and attacked him, and, she said, she ran away, but didn’t report it to police.

The next day, the narrative says, police received an “anonymous tip” about who was allegedly involved in the murder. They eventually tracked down and spoke with the tipster, who said the victim’s girlfriend did not know that he was going to be killed, but the robbery situation “got out of hand” and that the victim was stomped on as well as stabbed.

It appears from the documents as if one more possible suspect, a 16-year-old boy, has yet to be arrested. Meantime, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office tells us that the 18-year-old suspect is due back in court tomorrow, by which time charges may be filed. We’ll be checking on the juvenile suspects’ status too.

61 Replies to "3 teenagers arrested in Westcrest Park murder of 15-year-old Derek Juarez-Lopez"

  • JD October 19, 2017 (10:57 am)

    Wow. Five 17 year olds and one 18 year old booked all in one night. Whats going on in West Seattle? Any of this gang related?

  • schwaggy October 19, 2017 (11:07 am)

    So sad. Mind blowing. If only marijuana was readily available and cheap. Oh, wait…

    • rider October 19, 2017 (11:37 am)

      Minors will have a hard time buying marijuana legally, smart one. 

      • WTF October 21, 2017 (9:50 pm)

        Very easy for anyone at any age to get. To murder someone for something so inain as pot, is pathetic.

  • concerned October 19, 2017 (11:29 am)

    Why does this story of a woman luring a man (albeit, unintentionally) to his death sound familiar?!

  • NorthofAdmiral October 19, 2017 (11:54 am)


    So sad and so senseless. 

  • WS Taxpayer October 19, 2017 (11:56 am)

    This is heartbreaking on so many levels.  So many young lives ruined for this sensless act.  How many opportunities existed for those surrounding these confused youth to have altered these tragic consequences?  Where are the values of life and love coming from as our society drifts toward secularism?  How do we soften our shells, curb our toxic biases, and strive to collectively prevent these types of things from happening?

    • JanS October 19, 2017 (2:02 pm)

      I’m sorry, but secularism has nothing to do with this.  Of course, IMO.

    • dcn October 19, 2017 (2:28 pm)

      The “drift towards secularism” is not a cause for a decline in values in our society. If anything, research indicates that children raised in a secular family have at least as strong, if not stronger, moral compasses than children raised in religious households. Reasons are up for debate, but researchers believe that having your values based on the “Golden Rule” can be more effective in creating empathetic, moral people, than having a religion telling you what to believe or how to behave. 

      These articles present some background on the effects of raising children in a secular household:



      I would never imply that raising children in a religious household leads to poor values or immoral behavior. I would appreciate if everyone realized that raising children in a secular household also doesn’t lead to poor values or immoral behavior. We are secular, and my son has one of the strongest moral compasses of any child I know. 

  • Just Wondering October 19, 2017 (11:58 am)

    Wonder how old the brother who dropped him off is?

    • WSB October 19, 2017 (12:10 pm)

      He is described only as Derek’s “older brother.”

  • Alki Resident October 19, 2017 (12:08 pm)

    This is the second murder in West Seattle that a female has lured the male. Can you even trust your friends anymore? This is so sickening and to see the ages of these kids is mind boggling as well. I hope these kids never see the light of day ever again. RIP child.

  • lox October 19, 2017 (12:18 pm)

    I’ve waited to hear this every single day since that fateful morning. Thank you to the amazing officers who helped.

  • Seattlite October 19, 2017 (1:14 pm)

     I wonder how  many of the perpetrators come from homes where they had solid family foundations that would give them morals, ethics, love, discipline, knowledge of right from wrong.  I mean this was such a heinous act of violent viciousness that I it makes one wonder how many others have this same type of evil mentality and are walking around WS. 

  • No way October 19, 2017 (1:14 pm)

    WOW. Great job Seattle police!!!  All this over pot???  Seriously?  How many shops do we have and how many people do we know around us use it?  Not worth murder. Sad. Justice for the victim and his family please.

  • Barf October 19, 2017 (1:15 pm)

    It takes a special kind of premeditation to set someone up by luring them to be ambushed by a group of attackers with knives. I’m moving away from this craphole before my kid gets to high school- this place is toxic. 

    • JanS October 19, 2017 (2:11 pm)

      Dear “barf”…please let us know when you find that perfect place where senseless crime doesn’t exist.

      • Barf October 19, 2017 (3:48 pm)

        Thanks for your enduring feedback, JanS. There is a vast difference between perfect and an atmosphere where young people will lure their friends to be robbed or killed. Deterrents are only effective on the people without moral compass- but there seems to be little deterrent in Seattle. So, trouble makers make trouble, and trouble becomes the norm, and that’s an environment I’d rather not force my kid to navigate. Just my opinion- we all know you have yours. 

  • JanS October 19, 2017 (2:10 pm)

    Please remember…while there is NO justification for this vicious crime, teenagers cannot buy MJ, so it matters not how many stores are around the area. Marijuana is not the issue here.  A “girlfriend” lures  him to a place to be robbed..who does that and calls themselves “girlfriend”?. And….viciously stabbing someone over something so trivial…how very sad for these kids. The aspect of no respect for human life had to have been learned somewhere…from family? from peers?  None of us really has that answer.  I am saddened more and more every day by what this whole country is becoming…hatred abounds, has been given permission to be right out in the open by powers that be. Very sad, indeed.

    • P October 19, 2017 (2:44 pm)

      Totally agree. I feel for the family & the child who was taken too early but even though pot shops are popping up faster than McDonalds, minors still can not go in. That doesn’t justify someone being murdered but neither does trying to dumb down the actions. Saying “really over weed when they can get it anywhere” doesn’t take back the fact that this kid was murdered over something small & petty. 

  • Lee October 19, 2017 (2:36 pm)

    Good work, SPD.  I’m glad that Peachy’s family is getting some answers and some level of closure.  I hope that the people responsible realize just what they’ve taken…

  • Pedro October 19, 2017 (2:53 pm)

    This is such a tragic story. To the victim and his family, nothing but love and sympathy. 

    To the guilty parties; I hope they never see the light of day. No one who does this should have the privilege of being free in a civilized society. 

    To the parents of the guilty parties – you are abject failures and I hope you don’t have any more children. You should be ashamed at what your children have done. 

  • Wondering October 19, 2017 (3:05 pm)

     The people wanting to legalize pot said it was a wonderful  safe  product. So fill me in as to why there’s almost daily reports of pot shop break in’s, arrest of drivers impaired by pot and now murder. 

    • P October 19, 2017 (5:28 pm)

      People break in to a wide variety of stores for the product and cash. It’s no secret pot shops mainly deal in cash only. 

      Secondly, I have never heard of someone being arrested for driving impaired due to weed. I know you can’t do it but I hear about more alcohol related duis and have lived in two pot legal states and have never once heard of a person being arrested for driving while stoned. 

      Third of all, yes this child was murdered over pot but he was a minor and shouldn’t have had it (I am in no way justifying this senseless crime) but just stating if he got it he didn’t personally get it from a pot shop.  

      Youre vilianizing the wrong thing. Pot didn’t create burglars or murderers so you can take that pot is evil speech elsewhere. 

  • Lindsey October 19, 2017 (3:09 pm)

    This is so sad. I took my kids to the park two days after this happened, and there were still big stains of blood of the sidewalk. It was so shocking to see, heartbreaking imagining that poor kid struggling for his life. I’m thankful to SPD for helping bring these murderers to justice.

    Also, it really doesn’t pay to be the oldest scumbag in a group of scumbags, does it, Mr 18 year old booked into King Co Jail? I’m sure the sentencing guidelines are different too, when they could just be a few months apart in age.

  • Mark October 19, 2017 (3:10 pm)

    This is such a sad story.  The kid was only 15 and losing his life over a joint is insane.

    I’m glad the SPD caught the suspects.  They all need to be treated/charged as adults for this heinous crime.  And if found guilty put behind bars for a very long time, say 65 years, the lost lifetime of the 15 year old that if not killed would have likely lived to 80!

  • NoMoreHate October 19, 2017 (3:22 pm)

    So tragic and tough to read.  These are kids, even the 18 yr old ‘adult’ is just a kid – kids killing kids – I can’t think of many things more depressing to a community.

    To bring up a lack of religion, or growth of secularism, as a root cause is just gross.  Religion spurs more hate in this world than anything else.  Maybe it’s time to rid ourselves of the toxicity of religion. Maybe being raised to believe you are inherently better than others because you believe in fairy tales is part of the problem here.  Or maybe the belief that there is a magical, better, world awaiting you after death makes people cherish life less.

    Only a religious person will tell you your life is forfeit and you will burn in hell for eternity – that sentiment never comes from a secular person.  I have never heard a secular person say things like “you should beat your child, it will make them a better person”.  That only comes from religion.  The normal, human, feeling is to protect your child from harm with everything you have – no sane person thinks hitting children is anything but evil.  Maybe Christianity teaching you to ‘spare to rod or spoil the child’ and you misunderstanding that as you should be hitting your kids, does something permanent to them, like maybe makes them more violent.  Actually, not maybe, it’s a fact. Hitting your kids makes them more violent than not hitting your kids.


    • Seattlite October 19, 2017 (5:29 pm)

      NOMOREHATE — I live a faith-based life and have many, many family and friends who live faith-based lives.  I’ve never in my 69 years heard anyone who is a believer say these words “you should beat your child, it will make them a better person.”  There’s no doubt in my mind that the criminals who murdered Derek Juarez-Lopez are sociopaths who have had no moral guidance in learning right from wrong or good from evil and therefore more than likely have no guilty conscience for having committed this horrendous, violent crime.  They have hate in their hearts not love. 

      • Lee October 23, 2017 (3:50 pm)


        It is actually more likely that the individuals that committed this crime have a history of family violence/abuse/neglect as opposed to being sociopaths.  There is a direct correlation between trauma in early life and criminal behavior that follows.

    • Katie October 19, 2017 (8:51 pm)

      Don’t be silly. Whatever we might think about spanking now, it was ridiculously common two generations ago. Do you think all of humanity was insane up until like 1975?

  • unknown October 19, 2017 (3:51 pm)

    I just can’t understand  how or why these kids would do something like this, somewhere down the line something had failed them…

    I’m 62 years old and came from both parents being alcoholic and dad being physically abusive to us 3 kids and mom leaving us all when we were very young (1, 3 & 5yrs. old) and us 3 have never, never went out and stole from anyone or been abusive to anyone so I am not sure why these kids have turned this way!   it is just so, so sad.

    My thoughts and prays to Derek’s family and gratitude to the SPD for finding these children who did this terrible crime.

    • Lee October 23, 2017 (3:53 pm)

      Not every individual reacts to trauma in the same fashion.  And, how do you know what their exact situation was at home?  How do you know the level of abuse and neglect they might have been exposed to?  You don’t.  Not saying they should be excused from what they did.  But look into something called protective factors with respect to crimes.  You may have had more protective factors without knowing it.


  • Jethro Marx October 19, 2017 (4:24 pm)

    Woe: this went in a weird direction pretty quick. NoMoreHate is expressing lukewarm hatred while mangling scripture while also taking it out of context.

     The “Golden Rule” ain’t secular and while Jesus may have dropped a reference to it it ain’t really in the bible either.

     A bunch of you lament hatred and lack of morals in society and then proceed to hope the kids allegedly involved rot in hell.

     Oh, and a little hatred is aimed at the alleged perpetrators’ parents too, despite knowing absolutely nothing about them. Just for good measure.

     Irony abounds, what?

     And that’s your two minutes’ hate for Thursday.

    • NoMoreHate October 19, 2017 (5:27 pm)

      Jethro – it’s spelled ‘Whoa’ – as in what a cowboy says when he reins in a horse.  You said Woe and is ‘great sorrow and distress’ – maybe it’s what you meant, who knows.

      What did I take out of context and what did I mangle?  Does the bible not say “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”

      Is that not, overwhelmingly, interpreted by religious folks as you should spank your kids?

      Hitting your kids is wrong, in any context, religious or otherwise.  Please, give me your argument about how physically striking children is a good thing to do.  

      • Katie October 19, 2017 (8:55 pm)

        Well considering that there are numerous forms of Judaism and Christianity, it’s a bit bold to say that “religious” people all interpret that verse to mean “spank your kids.”  I know my religious parents thought it meant “discipline” your children. Which encompassed stuff like timeouts and being grounded. Probably depends on who you ask. 

      • Jethro Marx October 19, 2017 (9:14 pm)

        Yes, I am aware of both spelling and meaning for both wose; thanks for sharing Google’s thoughts though.

         You wrote something like, “…spare to rod or spoil the child…” which doesn’t make a lot of sense. I can’t remember where the actual saying is found (kinda sounds like Leviticus) but it’s taken out of context because you took a smidge of wisdom from a different culture and age and tried to drop it into a neighborhood blog story about crime.

         As for what you asked of me, no, I decline. I haven’t the space to make a case, even were I to believe in the rod as a disciplinary tool. But more importantly, that’s not what we’re talking about here, except for you.

         You seem to feel strongly about religion and spanking kids; perhaps you could explain why and maybe how that seems related to the tale of woe before us.

         I do believe in Leviticus; I don’t think hatred has any place in our community, as it is a tool that quickly consumes the operator if used wantonly.

         I remember Jesus suggested to the mob that perhaps the one who had never done anything wrong could throw the first stone- that was some revolutionary $#*% back then. Go and do likewise.

        • NoMoreHate October 20, 2017 (10:15 am)

          Jethro – WS Taxpayer, above in the comments, started the religious aspect of this conversation by asking “Where are the values of life and love coming from as our society drifts toward secularism?”

          Try reading a bit next time before you toss around inaccuracies and accusations.

          ‘Spare the rod’ is from Psalms.  You should probably know that if you live your life by it.

          Refusing to make your case is enough; you’ve proven you have no justification for hitting children.

          I think hitting children is never ok in any circumstance.  It relates to this tragedy because WS Taxpayer said flat out – the problem is a slide to secularism.  I said, religion says hit your kids.  That’s the conversation – try to keep up sport.

          I didn’t throw the first stone – again, try reading before jumping in blindly.  Blindly doing, following, anything is a fools errand. 

          I assume you were trying to say you don’t believe in Leviticus?  Or maybe that you do believe in psalms – dunno you don’t make much sense there – not to worry, many Christians ‘cherry pick’ Leviticus out, it’s just too nutso. 

          • Jethro Marx October 20, 2017 (11:32 am)

            I meant what I said. I love Psalms but the original verse is from proverbs, a collection of what was probably a sort of oral historical sayings of the wise.

             I’m doomed to live in Meshech; cursed with a home in Kedar- my whole life lived among quarreling neighbors. I’m all for peace, but every time I tell them so they go to war!

          • wsparayers October 23, 2017 (9:58 am)

            Spare the rod is in reference to the rod or staff the Sheppard ‘ s used to GUIDE the sheep not beat them

    • Groucho October 19, 2017 (9:57 pm)

      Hey jethro- it’s ok to be mad at people who do things like this. This is not acceptable. I really could care less about anyone’s religion or lack of- it’s not my bag. These kids that did this are sad f”d up people, and it makes me angry that they thought this was ok. 

  • waikikigirl October 19, 2017 (7:24 pm)

    This story is not about you, me,  them or religion or politics it is about Derek and the loss of a son, a brother to his family so get over yourselves will you!

  • Wsrez October 19, 2017 (7:44 pm)

    I agree with not hitting your kid(s). 

    As far as what happened to this boy and others recently I say #respectlife

  • Elle Nell October 19, 2017 (8:34 pm)

    How very very sad… what a tragic choice these young kids made. And may this child Rest In Peace…. 

  • Neighborhood mom October 19, 2017 (9:13 pm)

    A part of me is so relieved suspected killers are in jail – but wow, they are young! I live in South Delridge and it’s not a big neighborhood. Bad enough this violent senseless murder of 15yr old happened at our local dog park … Now the 18yr old stabber suspect lives within blocks of my family? Chilling.

  • NotOnHolden October 19, 2017 (9:18 pm)

    A life was taken for what?!?!?  This is disgusting.  And all the secular/non secular and the pot or not nonsense, none of that matters.  Here we are seeing a young life taken by a group of teens that threw their lives away, for what?  The only good that can come of this is for those assholes to spend their lives in prison for their parts in this while hopefully reflecting on what led to these horrible life choices, and maybe, just maybe, they will eventually be in a position to do positive outreach to prevent crap like this in the future.

  • Pot really? October 19, 2017 (10:53 pm)

    The narrative given by the suspects and documented in the police report seems strange (besides shocking and disgusting). Teens have been obtaining pot with little or no difficulty for decades. Why go through the risk and difficulty of an ambush for something that’s easy to obtain?

    The suspects are probably hoping the police buy this story of a random drug deal gone bad, because it sure sounds to me like premeditated murder.

    • Mitch October 20, 2017 (4:20 am)

      Legalization destroyed the illegal pot market – there’s no money in it anymore. So unless you’re over 21, it’s actually harder to find pot now.

  • WenG October 20, 2017 (1:34 am)

    Youth Services Center = juvenile jail, the place that so many activists want to abolish. There is no Restorative Justice for a murder victim killed by his peers, is there? At least Derek’s family knows what happened. There’s a small measure of peace in that, but not enough to bring him back. 

  • Pedro October 20, 2017 (6:49 am)

    So, Jethro Marx, you take issue with the notion that the parents of the perpetrators failed in raising their children? Wow. I guess they did a great job raising their kids seeing as how they jumped, stabbed and murdered a 15 year old boy. Yes – I have disdain for these parents and their kids. And rightfully so. The LACK of disdain for this kind of behavior and apalogists out there are a root cause of the problem and make it much, much worse. 

  • Vanessa October 20, 2017 (9:02 am)

    Who are these parents? 

  • steve October 20, 2017 (9:06 am)

    Thank you Police for getting these punks off the streets. Good work!

  • Jethro Marx October 20, 2017 (9:49 am)

    Pedro, you called the parents abject failures and then added a crack about hoping their family was small. Hurling invective is hardly an objective evaluation of how they raised their kids.

     I find it hard to judge unknown parents of unknown assailants on their life history. The people arrested are, like it or not, innocent until proven guilty; I guess that’s why our justice system moved away from the wisdom of the mob calling for blood.

     And then, as any parent knows, kids can be difficult, and kids not listening to what is taught at home is not any newer a phenomenon than folks killing each other.

     If I am an apologist it’s ’cause that’s my calling, to some extent; like a crowd beating a swastika-bearing a%&hole or dribbling beer on Steelers fans, I can sympathise with the sentiment, but I was taught to try to do better than my base instincts, and that sometimes means coming to the aid of unsympathetic characters.

     Are apologists and a lack of disdain for murder “a root cause?” (and is there more than one root? Like + or – in math?) Nope: most accounts of the dawn of man count betrayal and murder as some of the first few things we got down to; I’m certain the first stabbing shortly followed invention of the first knife.

    • NoMoreHate October 20, 2017 (1:59 pm)

      “most accounts of the dawn of man count betrayal and murder as some of the first few things we got down to”

      This inaccurate statement is based on biblical history, which is not history at all, but mythology.  Stuff people made up isn’t history.  It’s a story told to indoctrinate people into a religion – ‘Without religion, society will devolve into a morally bereft wasteland’.

      Turns out – the opposite is true. 

      Religion actually spurs violence in a society – religions that have anointed themselves as the ‘one true faith’ cause the greatest increases in violence.  Believing you are of the true faith gives one an excuse to shame, abuse, belittle and even hurt or murder those you deem  heathen.  There is no secular equivalent to this system of beliefs – there is no divine endorsement of violence in secularism.  

      “states known for higher religiosity also rank among the highest in
      murder rates, while states with populations least identifying themselves
      as religious rank at the bottom of the same FBI Uniform Crime Report.”

      “Consider child-abuse fatality rates: Highly religious Mississippi’s is
      twice that of highly secular New Hampshire’s, and highly religious
      Kentucky’s is four times higher than highly secular Oregon’s.”

      “According to statistics from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Christians
      make up almost 80 percent of the prison population. Atheists make up
      about 0.2 percent.”

      Pew Research;  Prof. Stephen Law of the University of London

      ‘Students were asked to read a story about the torture and murder of a man’s concubine and his tribe’s response: they assembled an army and razed several cities, killing every man, woman, child and animal they could find.
      Half the students were told that this was based on an ancient scroll recently discovered by archaeologists. The other half were told that it was from the Book of Judges in the Old Testament (which it is). In addition to the scriptural distinction, half of the students from both the Bible and the ancient scroll groups read an adjusted version that included a sentence in which God commanded his followers to take up arms against the others “and chasten them before the LORD.”
      Higher levels of aggression were measured in those who were told that the passage was from the Bible and in those who had read that the violence was sanctioned by God. Unsurprisingly, this effect was greater in believers than in atheists.’
      -Psycholgical Science 2007

      • Jethro Marx October 21, 2017 (9:50 pm)

        I could go on and on like this quite happily if we were sitting around having a discussion but we’re talking about religion in a community comment section of an online blog, we’re not talking about the article, really, and I am not trying to proselytize so now that we’re the last two here it just seems embarrassing.

         You, too, have religious fervor; your religion’s just “religion is bad.”

         You don’t cite any accounts of the earliest humans being peaceful and trustworthy; if you believe archeology you’ll find spear wounds in ancient carcasses.

         The studies you cite are interesting. I notice you contrast a couple of states with high poverty and low education with your supposed enlightened atheists not beating their kids. Great: seems like you’re drawing conclusions from the internet that no scientist would be proud of. I suspect you’d have some problems with your sample size, too. But hey, have at it. This kind of “go find some stuff online to make a case and show them religious types up for the yokels we all know they are” ain’t my style.

         And of course prisoners find their way to religion; I bet soldiers in the trenches would yield similar percentages.

         Perhaps I should point out that my original post was expressing dismay at my fellow West Seattleites’ rush to hateful judgement in response to a tragedy. Oh, and you misquoted the old testament. That always bums me out.

    • Pedro October 20, 2017 (2:23 pm)

      Sorry Jethro, but I am the one being objective. Raising a cold blooded murderer is an objective criteria upon which one can fairly base an assessment as to one’s parenting skills. Particularly when the murderer is still young. These are depraved human beings and if you raise one; well then you failed in arguably the most important aspect of life. Yes – there type events have been happening since the dawn of time. However, it is only a relatively recent phenomenon that we are taught to excuse or even accept this type of behavior in the name of empathy (oh, he had such a tough and disadvantaged childhood). Please. If you don’t have the time or won’t take the effort to raise a good human being; then don’t have kids. Yes – that’s an option. If you take on that responsibility, then don’t screw it up. These parents failed. Completely and utterly failed. Oh wait, you have some objective evidence to the contrary. I’m holding my breath to hear it. 

  • Susan October 20, 2017 (12:43 pm)

    Listen up!!  You CAN  help to  change the lives of kids and families caught in the violent and self perpetuating circumstances of these kids.  

    You can financially support organizations that build long term relationships, listen to, and guide youth to achieve more effective ways to engage in Life.   Youth violence prevention.  Counseling.  Education support.  Positive parenting.  Early education.  Youth development. Southwest Youth and Family Services  partners with over 600 academically vulnerable students  to change their futures.  90% of the 3,500 individuals served by SWYFS  live below the poverty line, which increases their risk factors.   

    Peachy was actively engaged with SWYFS, and last summer he participated in the Young Writers Workshop.  To quote one of his poems, the one he presented on stage, “… Shout out to all y’all teachers and peers that believed in me.  I’m pushing and pushing, trying to get further away from the streets.”   It’s tragic that he was killed.  It’s even more tragic that what took him was the very violence that he was trying to escape.

    You CAN make a difference.   Organizations that do the heavy lifting with our most vulnerable kids are sorely underfunded.  SWYFS is incredibly effective, a solid investment in kids, families, communities.  

    http://www.swyfs.org    Make a donation.  Do it in honor of Peachy.  Do it today.

  • Seattlite October 20, 2017 (2:25 pm)

    Susan — Another way to stop kids from going down the wrong path is to start having public schools teach about what it means to have a strong family foundation.  A high percentage of troubled youth come from homes that do not have an environment that’s conducive to learning right from wrong, morals, ethics. Teaching kids about what it takes to raise a family: education (college or trade school) to secure a steady income, the responsibility and love that goes into raising children should be at the top of the list for public schools.  This could help kids make better decisions in their lives before starting a family.  I really feel for kids who have unstable, violent homes and I know that they feel trapped.

    • Susan October 21, 2017 (9:35 am)

      Seattlite – I totally agree that schools need to be teaching LIFE skills, as you so well described above.  Until that day, we will have to rely on outside agencies.  

      To the school district’s credit, Denny and Sealth have a fairly strong relationship with Southwest Youth and Family Services.  They make referrals, and allow SWYFS staff to meet students on school grounds during hours if that works best for the student.  It’s invaluable for the Youth Violence Prevention case managers. 

      Also, Denny supports a terrific mentoring program.      The 3 year program addresses Real Life skills and introduces ongoing relationship with a stable adult.

       empowermentoring.org     Click on the menu and check out some of the monthly workshop reports!   I know that their waiting list is long…they are very in need of mentors!

      • Lee October 23, 2017 (3:57 pm)

         As far as I’m aware, there are not nearly enough resources in place for troubled youth.  And then there is the issue of getting the youth to realize that the way they are living and that the trauma/violence in their homes is not “normal.”  This is a very complex issue.

  • Susan October 21, 2017 (9:39 am)


    Is it possible to bring the discussion between Seattlite and Susan forward to the current update on Derek?  There is good (positive!) info here, and I fear that it’s getting buried in the older post.    Thanks.

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