Candles and notes line the scene in Seattle's Central District Friday where an innocent father was caught in the crossfire and fatally shot in front of his family.
The 42-year-old father, identified as Justin Ferrari, was shot by a stray bullet while driving family members to a Memorial Day weekend getaway Thursday.
Messeret Habeti was working inside her restaurant when it happened. She said two adults and two kids came in to her restaurant. She recognized the children as regular customers.
"The younger one was really crying hard. She was asking for her dad. I could not say anything to her. I was just crying with her," said Habeti.
Ferrari worked at Zillow as a software engineer and coached a local water polo team for high school students. Friends describe him as a great role model and mentor.
"Justin was the kind of man that you would want your son to grow to be," said Kristen Klein, a parent of a child on Ferrari's water polo team. "What a terrible waste this is."
Flowers continued to pour at the roadside memorial, which has become a symbol of the violence rocking the neighborhood. Passers-by paused at the memorial with deep concern.
"It does the community no good," said resident Paul Bascomb. "We already have negativity we're trying to get rid of. For an innocent person to be passing, it's absolutely devastating."
Seattle police said Ferrari had just picked up his mother and father from the airport, and was driving with them and his two children near Martin Luther King Jr. Way and East Cherry Street Thursday afternoon.
The shooting suspect, only described as a black male in his 20's, was engaged in a verbal fight with someone on the street at the time. The suspect began firing a gun just as Ferrari unknowingly drove past.
Ferrari was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else in the car was injured. His father said he had no idea his son had been shot until the car slowed down on its own.
"It could have been the father of my child, it could have been my husband, it could have been my son," said Lynn Kemper, who lives in the area.
Can lessons be learned? A Central Area school teacher explained to some children the meaning of consequences.
"I would have walked past because I don't want to force anyone to take that moment, but they were stopped before and they were already curious. Something already touched their heartstrings," said Chimere Hackney, teacher.
Some neighbors turned to prayer. One woman, whose nephew was recently killed in gang violence, said she's had enough.
"I know what kind of pain is going to come from this. This is so painful. Who's next? And every day we talk about who's next," said Gracie Williams.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn paid a visit to the memorial Friday. He said he feels Gracie Williams' pain and begged the community to help police end gun violence.
"That individual heading out with an illegal gun, they do have friends and family members. They can prevent a tragedy," said McGinn.
Community outreach officers canvassed the area, calming citizens and giving assurances to residents deeply troubled by another senseless crime.
"I don't know if he was black, white, green or yellow," said Bascomb. "But the fact that this person was with his family, going about his business - it's heavy," said Bascomb.
A couple feet away from the scene, a note in the window of a house reads, "Hugging our daughter extra tight tonight, this neighborhood is better and stronger than this."
Dozens of comments on the Central District News blog expressed outrage over the shooting. One person wrote:
"I have been dreading this day. Just down the street from my daughter's high school, my son's favorite playground, and the community center. This was inevitable..."
"We need to find out what is the cause that is making people angry enough to do these things," said community activist Sully McGinnis.
Reverend Greg Banks, a member of Seattle's Black Clergy group, said he and others plan to hold a prayer vigil at the site of the shooting 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 26. The public is invited to attend.
Ferrari's death was the second random killing in Seattle in about a month.
In late April, Nicole Westbrook, 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 in Pioneer Square. No arrests have been made.
Police are looking for a man in his 20s, but were questioning witnesses to provide a better description of the suspect. Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or call the Seattle Police Homicide Tip Line at (206) 233-5000.
Meanwhile, a Central District coffee shop, Tougo Coffee, said all of Friday's earnings will be donated to Ferrari's family. Tougo is located at 1410 18th Avenue in Seattle.
"It's not about doing something for somebody we know. It's about doing something for somebody we don't know," said owner Brian Wells. "It's the loss of a family member, it's a tragedy."
KING 5''s Linda Brill, Lindsay Chamberlain, Liza Javier, Jake Whittenberg and Eric Wilkinson contributed to this report.