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Community leader killed near neighborhood 'trouble spot'

Friends say Donnie Chin died while patrolling his neighborhood near an intersection at 8th and Lane he worried about.
Credit: Caroline Li
Community leader Donnie Chin in his International District Emergency Center uniform.

As friends and family continue to mourn the loss of community leader Donnie Chin, police are pouring through evidence to figure out who took the life of this beloved member of the International District.

Chin was murdered just before 3 a.m. Thursday morning as he patrolled his neighborhood, as he did much of the time. He started the International District Emergency Center, an organization dedicated to helping people throughout his community.

Since Chin's murder several people have called for the closure of King's Hookah Lounge, a business near the scene of the crime. They say the lounge brings bad people to the neighborhood.

Chin's murder happened right outside the Hookah building.

Neighbors spoke out about their concerns about the Hookah Lounge and crime in the International District in a town hall meeting on Thursday night.

On Friday, Omar Alalimi, owner of King's Hookah Lounge, spoke exclusively with KING 5.

"I don't think it's necessary to blame everything on my customers," AlAlimi said.

He said that the shooting happened off his property and after business hours.

AlAlimi said he closed down the lounge two hours before the shooting, and he can't control what happens outside his shop after hours.

"I have a lot of people who want to shut me down and I understand that," AlAlimi said. "If they shut me down these people are going to go to another spot and cause the same problem."

"I don't think after every shooting in town they shut down the closest businesses."

Chin's friend Ron Chew said that Chin spoke often about King's Hookah Lounge.

"I know he talked about that particular location," Chew said. "After hours there's a lot of activity happening that was not desirable."

Despite the calls for closure from neighbors, AlAlimi said that he plans to keep his business open, but he will be adding more security.

"I am sorry this happened," AlAlimi said. "As a private club, I have the right to not serve anyone, and I think this is going to be the start."