Mysterious murder victim's mother still pressing for justice; Ka'Don Brown was shot to death April 7
When violent crime becomes almost commonplace, it's easy for the public to forget either out of revulsion or the simple fact that the news concentrates on the latest shock. But for the families of victims the pain never goes away, justice seldom arrives and their grief colors their world.
But for Maxine Brooks it is mission.
Her son Ka’Don Micheal Brown was murdered on the evening of April 7 and his death remains a mystery.
Nearly 21, he was a young man who loved music, video games, and basketball, and he often played at the Southwest Athletic Complex (SWAC) on Thistle Street in West Seattle. He especially loved football, basketball and spending time with his family.
He had gone to the SWAC on the evening of April 7 to play some video games and basket ball, Maxine said.
She got a call from him at 10:44pm. She was unable to answer but did call back a few minutes later and he did not take the call.
Calls to 911 claimed they heard shots in the area between 10:30 and 11:00 pm.
Ka’Don never made it home.
His body was found the next morning under a tree on Southwest corner of the Sealth High School campus just off the street.
Maxine said she was later allowed to look at the school's surveillance video but the camera only covers the parking lot, so no footage of what took place exists.
The Seattle Police report that last year violent crime reached a 15 year high in 2022 but in the last quarter of last year the rate had been trending down.
SPD conducted 60 new homicide investigations in 2022. Fifty-two of those incidents met the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) definition of Criminal Homicide, which includes Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter and Negligent Manslaughter.
In 2022, there were 739 verified criminal shootings and shots fired citywide. This represents a 19% (119) increase compared to 2021, a 69% (303) increase compared to 2020 and 125% (410) increase compared to pre-pandemic totals in 2019.
But for Maxine Brooks all that matter is justice for her son.
She and her family have been putting up posters and maintaining a memorial on the Sealth Campus. They report that many of the posters have been taken down.
They met with media again Sept. 12 all in an attempt to get some leads on what has apparently become a cold case.
Her friend Carmen Johnson said, "We're just trying to get more attention so the community can come out and start talking and if they know anything to let her know. She's a bereaved mother. That's the worst thing you could do in the world. That's the worst pain you could ever feel. You don't know the pain, the crying late at night. She can't sleep. This is her baby we're talking about."
Katherine Brooks, Maxine's cousin said, "I know this community knows something. They are catching these other killers. He didn't mess with nobody."
Ka'Don's sister D'kwanza said her emotions have ranged from feeling angry to deep sadness. "We just need to bring the person forward who did this to my little brother because he didn't deserve this at all."
Maxine recalled a time she had purchased a new coat for Ka'Don and he had gone downtown but came back without it. "He said, 'Mom I hope you won't be too mad at me but I met a homeless man and gave him my new coat and some money so he could eat', and at first I was mad at him but then I realized that, that was the kind of boy I raised; Somebody who cared about others."
She's asking that if anyone knows anything about Ka'Don's murder even if it's a small thing to please contact the Seattle Police.
"I can't understand why somebody would just take my son's life. Life is not making sense, waking up in the middle of the night and not having my son there is very hard. I already lost one child to brain cancer. My head aches and sometimes I can't function because I need to know what happened to my son. I know someone out there knows and I'm praying to God that I get justice for my son which I know I will."