Popular Art Teacher and Youth Mentor Fatally Shot in Seattle
With the killer still at large, police have launched an investigation.
A Seattle art teacher and social worker was fatally shot in the city’s Belltown neighborhood early on Sunday morning.
Police have identified the victim as 49-year-old Brent McDonald, who worked with and mentored low-income and immigrant middle-school children at the Coyote Central youth art studio, in the city’s Central district.
McDonald was gunned down on a sidewalk at around 3 a.m. on Sunday. Officers responding to reports of shots being fired found him with a gunshot wound to the torso. McDonald was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he died after attempts to resuscitate him had failed.
Surveillance footage released by police shows two suspects—a man and woman between 30 and 40—near the scene of the crime. The video also shows a light-colored station wagon, which police say might be connected to the shooting.
The Seattle Times quoted friends describing the art teacher as a popular and gentle man who was passionate about improving the lives of underprivileged young people and dedicated to helping his community.
“If there were more Brents in the world, the perpetrators of this crime might not have been in the positions to make such poor choices,” Claudia Stelle, executive director of Coyote Central told the ST. “He was a wonderful mentor for kids, a wonderful teacher. He was really talented at supporting their creativity and their designs and always encouraged them to express themselves.”
The art teacher made an impact on some 700 young lives since he started working at the youth art studio in 2004 where he taught art, design, and woodworking.
McDonald is survived by his longtime partner Danielle Logan and her 15-year-old daughter, whom he helped raise since she was a child. At the time of writing, a crowdsourcing page set up to help McDonald’s family had raised $23,925.
In a similar tragic incident in September, a street artist was shot dead in Oakland while painting an anti-violence mural.
Seattle police have appealed to members of the public that might have information about the shooting to come forward.
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