Beam of light shines as memorial for First Hill shooting victim

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ElisaHahnK5

KING5.com

Posted on June 4, 2012 at 11:12 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 6 at 12:57 PM

A special tribute was created for the woman who was gunned down outside Seattle's Town Hall last week.

A memorial for Gloria Leonidas was unveiled Monday night -- a beam of light that shines on the very place where she died last Wednesday.

Leonidas, a talented lighting expert, was heading to Town Hall that day for an appointment when she was attacked and shot by gunman Ian Stawicki, who then stole her car. Just half an hour earlier, Stawicki had shot and killed four people and injured a fifth person at the Cafe Racer on Roosevelt Way. He later turned his gun on himself.

The Town Hall's administrative offices look out on the parking lot and some of the staff witnessed her fight with her assailant and her murder.

"For us, it's not only a deeply private and moving moment but something we've shared with all of Seattle," says Anthony Detrano, marketing director for Town Hall.  "We witnessed her at her strongest and probably her most vulnerable."

They decided their tribute would be simple and symbolic.  As darkness falls, a light illuminates the very place in that parking lot where Leonidas died. The light shines down from one of the windows above the administrative offices.

"It shines a spotlight on what happened here, and acts as a metaphor for our witness to those events," Detrano says.

It's meant to be a bright light in dark times, a fitting tribute for a woman who was a luminary to many.

"It is and always will be a place of deep sadness for many people, but the healing has to begin somewhere and for us it begins with this point of light."

The staff plans to keep the tribute going during the nighttime hours at least until June 18th, when Town Hall will host an open public discussion on public safety.  They hope to address how a city heals after such tragedy.

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