Man killed by stray bullet worked at Zillow; 2nd random shooting death

May 25, 2012

Seattle police say a man fatally shot as he drove down a Seattle street with his parents and two children was hit by an errant bullet from a stranger's dispute.

Detective Jeff Kappel said the victim had earlier picked up his parents from the airport and was heading out with them and his two children on a weekend vacation late Thursday afternoon.

The Seattle Times identified the victim as 43-year-old Justin Ferrari who had only recently joined the online real estate site Zillow.

“We at Zillow are deeply saddened to learn about this tragedy,” a Zillow spokeswoman said in a statement as published by “Justin began working at Zillow three months ago, and worked at Expedia and Microsoft for many years before that. His passing will be felt deeply by his co-workers and friends. “

Kappel says a preliminary investigation indicates the victim's van drove through an area just as another man on foot began firing a gun at people he was arguing with. One of those bullets hit and killed the victim. No one else in his van was hurt.

The detective describes the victim as "an innocent motorist that happened to be in the area."

Police are looking for a man in his 20s.

Previous death by stray bullet

In late April, a 21-year-old woman who recently moved to Seattle from Albuquerque, N.M., to pursue her dream of becoming a chef died of injuries suffered in an apparently random drive-by shooting near downtown.

No arrests have been made.

Seattle PD's blog post on the shooting:

On May 24th at approximately 4:38 p.m. officers responded to 911 calls of  a shooting at MLK Jr. Way and East Cherry Street.  Officers arrived on scene and located one male victim in his 40′s who had sustained a fatal gunshot wound.  SFD medics responded and pronounced the victim dead at the scene.   

Preliminary investigation indicates that the victim was driving westbound on East Cherry Street in his white VW van (the victim had earlier picked up his parents from the airport and along with his two children were heading out on a weekend vacation).  

Near the intersection of MLK Jr. Way and East Cherry Street the suspect began firing a gun at individuals that he was in a verbal altercation with.  The victim was struck by one of the bullets fired by the suspect, killing him.  The suspect then fled the scene on foot. 

The victim was not involved in the altercation with the suspect – he was an innocent motorist that happened to be in the area.  Nobody else inside the victim’s VW van was injured.  

Officers conducted an area search for the suspect however, he remains at large.  The only description available for the suspect at this time is a black male in his 20′s. 

Homicide, Gang and CSI detectives responded to the scene and continue to actively investigate. 

Anyone with information about this incident or who may know the identity or whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call 911 or the Seattle Police Homicide Tip Line at (206) 233-5000.  Anonymous tips are welcome.