‘It’s unthinkable:’ UW freshman gunned down on Mother’s Day in front of family’s home

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SEATTLE -- The Rainier Beach community is still reeling from the murder of a teenager that happened on Mother's Day, in front of his family's home.

As Seattle Police search for his killers, his family is begging the community to not let him become a statistic, another victim of an unsolved shooting. They also want him to be remembered for the life he lived, not just the way he died.

Conner's mother, Alicia Dassa, faced the emotional crowd outside her home, saying several times that there are no words that could even begin to express the family's pain.

"I don't know what we're going to do without our boy," she said.

At just 18 years old, Conner Dassa-Holland truly seemed to have and do it all. Loved ones said he was pursuing a pre-law major at UW.

He was passionate about social justice. He was a suicide prevention peer counselor and a youth track coach. His vigil was filled with his teammates, who so admired the teen who was a football captain and senior class president at Rainier Beach High.

"Amazing does not cover my son. He was beautiful, and for the rest of our lives we're going to make sure that Conner's death was not in vain," said Dassa.

How his life could be stolen is still and likely always will be unfathomable for those who knew him.

"I never thought for one second that it would be my boy," his mother said.

Conner spent the last day of his life, Mother's Day, delivering food with his parents and siblings to their grandmothers and aunts. Later that evening, around 10 p.m., Conner was gunned down inside his car in front of the family's home on 51 Avenue South in Seattle.

Conner's mother saw what no mother should ever have to see, but Alicia Dassa says she is thankful she was there for his last moments.

"I got to hold my baby. I got to tell him I loved him and that he wasn't alone and that we would always be with him," she said.

One of the most prominent messages at Tuesday's vigil was that violence has to stop.

"The person who did this to my boy, they needed a hug, they needed love. They couldn't have done this if they had those things in their life," Alicia Dassa said.

Loved ones made it clear they want Conner's legacy to be what he showed them everyday: genuine love.

Conner's memorial is being held Wednesday, May 27th at 1:45pm at Greenwood Memorial in Renton. His friends and family are organizing a car parade. People will stay inside their vehicles to drive by Conner and his family to pay their respects.

CLICK HERE if you'd like to donate to help pay for Conner's memorial.

If you have any information on this case, Seattle Police urge you to call them at (206)-233-5000.  Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound is offering a $1,000 cash reward for information leading to an arrest. You can submit your anonymous tip by using the P3 Tips app.

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