Two men are dead from gunshot wounds to the head while sitting in a parked car on Seattle’s Beacon Hill, and one of them appears to have made the often-fatal error of being in the process of “turning his life around.”
This cause of death, or some variation, seems to be fairly common among people with long criminal histories who abruptly run out of time. In this case, shooting victim Edward James Westmoreland II, 34, was remembered by his father as a man who was “getting his life together,” according to KOMO News.
“He was getting on track,” said Edward Westmoreland, Sr.
Sometime early Monday, there was a derailment.
Dying in the process of a "turnaround" in life was essentially what the mother of Dwayne Atkins, 28, said back in August 2011 after he was found lying in his own blood, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He was shot several times and left in a hallway.
The mother said he was “trying to do the right thing and change his lifestyle.” That lifestyle included arrests for drugs and even murder, though the murder charge was later dropped, the newspaper detailed.
When San Diego police shot and killed Angel Miguel Lopez in January, they had just chased him from an apartment complex during a stakeout. He reportedly did not obey commands to show his hands and instead made a motion like he was reaching for a gun in his pocket.
Lopez had been arrested last September on a parole violation, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. When he died, he was facing a February trial on weapons charges. He did time for robbery, and had several other charges in his file, the newspaper reported. A local CBS affiliate reported that Lopez’ widow said “he was trying to turn his life around.”
Google the phrase “He was just turning his life around” and one gets 443,000,000 possible results. Many of the stories show success. Many more are crime scene obituaries.
Back in Seattle, Westmoreland and the other dead man, identified as Elijah Roosevelt Paul, III were both shot in the head at close range by someone using a handgun, a police source told Examiner Wednesday morning. According to the Seattle Times and Seattle P-I.com, both men had extensive criminal backgrounds.
Westmoreland was somehow linked to an on-going drug investigation, and had convictions for domestic violence assault and harassment, third degree theft, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and auto theft. Paul also had a domestic violence conviction, and had a criminal history dating back to 1985.
The elder Westmoreland contended that his son died because of “easy access to guns,” according to the KOMO coverage.