Community hero dies from wounds in International District shooting

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Donald Chinn. Courtesy Northwest Asian Weekly.

SEATTLE — A man described by many as a community hero in Seattle’s International District was shot and killed in the ID early Thursday morning.

Police were called to 8th Avenue South and South Lane Street at about 3 a.m. with reports of multiple shots fired. Donnie Chin, the director of the International District Emergency Center, was found at the scene with critical wounds.

Chin later died at Harborview.

A witness told Q13 FOX News they heard as many as 10 shots fired during the shooting. Police are investigating the events leading up to the gunfire. No suspects are in custody.

Data pix.

The International District Emergency Center provides quick and rapid responses to crime and other emergencies in the  area. Chin was a highly respected member of the community who focused on safety of residents. Many in the International District would call Chin for help before dialing 911.

The Asian Counseling and Referral Service released the following statement after the news of Chin's death:

We lost a hero. Our hearts grieve along with our community. We all loved and respected Donnie, a community organizer, community builder, and community leader who looked out for, and watched over, our youth, seniors, and other vulnerable members of our community in the I.D. for 45 years. He promoted public safety, protected the community, and was one of the community’s beating hearts. He gave his life for our community, and we will never forget him.

A community meeting was held 5 p.m. Thursday at the Bush Asia Center. The mayor's office also plans to release a statement soon.

State, county and city leaders expressed  sorrow for the community's loss.

Gov. Jay Inslee said, “Trudi and I share in the terrible shock and deep mourning following this morning’s tragic and violent loss of Donnie Chin. We don’t know exactly what happened on that street in Seattle’s International District early this morning. Yet there’s no doubt, as his friends have said today, that the ID lost its savior, its protector, its hero and a big piece of its heart. Donnie Chin was a man who dedicated his life to making Chinatown and the International District safe for everyone. He had been doing that since he was a young man because he saw a need and he filled it."

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement after the shooting death of Donnie Chin:

“Donnie was a great community leader and his tragic death is a tremendous loss to Chinatown-International District, the broader Asian-Pacific Islander community, all of Seattle, and to me personally. As co-founder of the International District Emergency Center, he dedicated his life to making the Chinatown-International District – the neighborhood he loved – a safe place for all."

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole also issued the following statement:

“I was shocked and saddened to learn of Donnie Chin's death. He was a wonderful friend to the SPD and will be sorely missed. We join his family and friends in mourning this terrible loss. We will also work tirelessly to bring his killer to justice.”






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  • Scot Kamimae

    This is a result of the failed leadership of the City of Seattle and the SCIDPDA who encourages homeless people and gang members to roam the streets of the international District. I moved my office out that area due to the increasing issues and problems that fell on deaf ears.
    I hope the IDEC was providing insurance for Donnie since I know he was paid much.
    Hopefully this tragedy will spur change to remove those that harm the community and focus more on those that help the community.

  • Stephenlnelson

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  • Kit

    There are a lot of street people and vagrants passing through that neighborhood. Some are dangerous and the hobo lifestyle provides a camouflage for the violent ones. They can hide and blend into the surrounding riff-raff. Remember the Shoreline college professor who was stabbed to death last year. The city is promoting the tent city lifestyle and that’s a big mistake. The city needs to discourage flaky people from moving here to live on the streets,

    • First Amendment

      The city is not encouraging a life style these people are economic refugees. Corporate America pats itself on the back for hammering a few nails on habitat for humanity day picnics meanwhile they outsource every single job they can to undercut unions and wipe out the working class, now under the guise of immigration policy they flood the country with low wage workers. Who can buy a house these days, not anyone making 15 bucks an hour!

      • Kit

        Yes, the city wants to create more tent camps around northend and the people are mostly bums. I see them everyday scattering their trash along the Burke Gilman trail, shopping carts filled with junk in Ballard, and illegal car camping near Lake Union. They are substance abusers mooching off the church shelters and soup kitchens. Unemployment figures are the lowest its been in 40 years.

  • Kyle

    What the HELL is going on in Seattle???? Seems like it’s a war zone after dark people that aren’t even involved in anything getting shot? When I moved here people called it a cow town but no cow town I’ve ever been in has heroine addicts tripping down the street, and mobs of pot smoking thugs roaming downtown!!! This place is OUT OF CONTROL!

  • thuggy gets a dirt nap

    The liberals will deny it, because it is “racist” and to them that is a bad thing, but Seattle has a huge “Black Problem” in that part of town and extending south off and on all the way to Tacoma. That is likely what killed this fine man. The problem will only get worse with time, as Seattle is dominated by the “let’s all hold hands and get along” PC crowd, who will continue to ignore proven facts and just stick their ignorant heads back in the sand while their friends and family members get murdered by these Thugs. Idiots.

    • Doug F

      This is the same guy who said the man killed by police for trying to stab the cop is black, turns out he was Asian so then he mocks Asians! Dude this Nazi crap is so dumb!

    • Shaggy

      Hey dirt nap dude imagine the Seahawks with only dudes your color. Imagine never making the playoffs cuz that’s what would happen forget going to the Super Bowl. You need to chill with your anti-black obsession maybe your like Ann Coulter and need a shrink!

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