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Originally published February 14, 2012 at 4:04 PM | Page modified February 15, 2012 at 10:09 AM

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Crowd mourns young man killed in shooting at nightclub in Sodo

Nearly 100 people attended a Monday night vigil to memorialize Desmond Jackson, 22, who was killed outside a Seattle nightclub early Sunday.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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For his entire 22 years, Desmond Jackson was treated like a prince by his extended family of aunts, great-aunts, grandmother and great-grandmother. Jackson was doted on as he was growing up.

When a crowd of nearly 100 showed up in his Central Area neighborhood Monday night for a candlelight vigil to memorialize his life, many told his family that he was the most considerate and loving person they knew.

Gazelle Williams, his great-aunt, is certain that Jackson took the love he received at home and spread it among his friends.

Jackson was fatally shot early Sunday outside a nightclub in Seattle's Sodo neighborhood, the second fatal shooting outside an area club this month.

Jackson's family says he was trying to get his friends to avoid a confrontation with another group when he was shot four times in the chest, Williams said.

Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson said it appears that the two groups got into a fight earlier that night at a University District nightclub. The groups either got kicked out or voluntarily left that club before heading south toward Sodo, he said.

They ran into each other again outside Club X, in the 1900 block of First Avenue South. Police were called just before 3:30 a.m. for reports of gunfire. By the time officers arrived, the gunman had gone, Jamieson said.

Bystanders took Jackson and another wounded man to Harborview Medical Center. Jackson died a short time later, his family said. Police have not released details about the wounded man.

While Seattle police homicide and gang detectives are investigating, Williams said Jackson was not a gang member.

"Even the (homicide) detective has told us that he's not affiliated with gangs," Williams said. "He had a good heart. All the love we gave to him he took into the world."

Jackson, who was named after South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, was attending Seattle Central Community College, Williams said.

Williams said witnesses to the shooting aren't saying much to her family or police. She blames a street code that makes witnesses reluctant to come forward.

"Their friend was murdered, and no one is talking," Williams said.

"The kid who shot Desmond, we don't want him to suffer any harm," she added. "We just want him to pay for the crime he has committed. He has a soul."

On Feb. 5, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Gregory Wayne Anderson Jr., a 25-year-old father of two, was shot outside Club Republiq after a fight that began in the nightclub. Two other men suffered bruises and cuts to their heads in the melee.

On Jan. 28, three people were wounded in a shooting outside the Citrus nightclub at South Lake Union. Police say a fight broke out inside the club. The subjects were kicked out of the club, and shots later were fired outside near the club.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.

Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report, which includes information from Times archives.

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