The Starbucks Shooter
Residents of the neighborhood left wreaths, candles, plants and poetry at the store's entrance to create a visible memorial. In the absence of police briefings, reporters collected information about the victims, to put faces on them for readers and to give dimension to their lives. All too often, victims are forgotten.
Caity, it turned out, had practiced being bold all her life because "she did not want to live afraid." Her grandmother had recently bought her the 1994 Saturn left in the lot, so she could get around in the city and feel safer. She habitually jogged alone at night, convinced she'd never be attacked. She had once even traveled as an exchange student to the Soviet Union, and as a White House intern under President Clinton she'd arranged tours.
"She had an enormous heart," her mother said. "She would probably have compassion for the person who killed her." Caity, who had a special love for animals, had been just about to turn 26. She'd been employed with Starbucks for two years and had taken special pride in being a store manager.
Emory Evans had worked part-time and was trying to save enough money to attend Howard University, where he'd hoped to major in music. He played the French horn. An only child, he had a reputation for always trying to do the right thing and he enjoyed time with his family back in New Jersey. Aaron Goodrich, a fun-loving high school senior, lived with his father, who had helped him to get the job. As the store's youngest employee, he had earned the nickname, "Baby."
A surveillance tape showed that Caity had attempted to escape, but it did not show the shooters. The postmortem examination indicated that she was shot five times, taking four shots to the head, while Evans was shot once in the chest and twice in the head. Goodrich had been shot only once. Investigators wondered if Caity had been the intended target. Such overkill was often a symptom of anger.
Investigators asked about former employees and one lead emerged right away. Caity had recently fired a male employee on suspicion of theft when several hundred dollars turned up missing from the safe. The police obtained his name and address, and went to check him out. He answered all their questions and claimed he had not been involved; when they found no evidence against him, they let him go.
Unfortunately, there would be no quick or easy route to an arrest.