It's been a violent year on Seattle streets, with more than 20 people killed. Saturday, those touched by the killings gathered to raise money for the families and send a message about the consequences.
The annual Sea-Pac Classic Basketball Tournament was called “Hoops for Hope” in honor of those impacted by the violence this year.
The family of Sherry Soth was among those at Seattle Pacific University for the event. Soth was killed as she left a house party in July.
Her family said they’re struggling to make sense of it all.
“Everyone's trying to wrap their brain around it,” Terri Soth said. “It just feels like she's on a really long trip.”
For police it was the 22nd homicide this year, for her family it was a huge heartbreak.
“I feel like she was a really big teddy bear, a tough one,” her sister said.
The family realizes they are not the only people suffering.
“Even before it happened, I was hearing about it so frequently and it's frustrating because I don't know what to do,” Soth said.
That frustration is shared by Deitrick Johnson, he has lost two friends to the violence this year; Desmond Jackson was killed in February as he left a Sodo club and then Soth in July.
“I just want to keep their legacy living, I don't want my two close friends to die in vain,” Johnson said.
Saturday’s tournament was a fundraiser for the families of victims and a chance to raise awareness.
“It's come to a point where something has to be said, something has to be done and that's what we're all about,” organizer Bezza Kifle said. “We wanted people to see that someone made a horrible decision that had a permanent effect on someone’s life.”
The games are competitive, but organizers say the goal is to get people thinking about the very real problems away from the basketball court and on Seattle streets.
“I want to be the change and I hope everyone will want to change,” Johnson said.
Change will not bring back Soth or any of the other victims, but it could prevent another tragedy and help solve the cases that Seattle Police are still working on.