Sunday, November 29, 2009

First Hill slaying victim was hip-hop artis


The victim in a deadly Friday night shooting on Seattle's First Hill was identified by family members as Max Gasoi, a 21-year-old founder of an indie hip-hop music label.

Police said Gasoi was found shot on the street less than a block from St. James Cathedral, in the 800 block of Ninth Avenue. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Friends and family said Gasoi was a local hip-hop artist who had started his own label, So Hood Records, and had received his business license only a few days ago.

Friends said Gasoi and others had recorded an album that is slated for release next month.

He also was the father of a 5 1/2-month-old baby girl, Kiyomi.

Police and medics responded to the shooting scene at about 9 p.m. Friday, where they found Gasoi lying in the street.

Witnesses on the scene said they heard several shots - possibly three - being fired.

"I heard like a firecracker or a gunshot, about three times," said Normita Smith. "And I looked and I said, "Oh baby, someone got shot."

Police cordoned off a black Nissan Maxima parked near the body, but its involvement in the shooting was not immediately clear.

With guns drawn, investigators began a search of the area for the gunman, who remains on the loose. A description was not available.

The circumstances surrounding the shooting were not immediately clear, but police are calling the incident a homicide. Detectives are interviewing witnesses and canvassing the scene for additional clues.

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