Shennon "Skeevie" Shelton, a football and basketball coach at Cascade Middle School, was fatally shot in Auburn on Sunday. Another brother was wounded.

Share story

Surrounded by family members camped outside of a trauma unit at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, Kevin Shelton described what it was like to hold his older brother as he died.

“I was holding him in my arms when he passed away,” said the 15-year-old. “It was heartbreaking.”

Shennon “Skeevie” Shelton, a football and basketball coach at Cascade Middle School, was fatally shot in Auburn on Sunday. Another brother was wounded.

According to police and the Shelton brothers’ uncle, Steve Leau, 22-year-old Skeevie was killed after he went to the aid of his older brother who had been called on to break up a street fight.

That brother, Gaston “Tui” Shelton, 23, was shot and seriously wounded. He is at Harborview and is expected to survive, family members said.

The victims are also brothers of University of Washington football recruit Danny Shelton, a senior at Auburn High School.

According to police, a feud between two families not related to the Sheltons evolved into a street brawl in the 400 block of 37th Street Southeast on Sunday.

Tui Shelton and his wife and children were visiting a friend in the neighborhood when a neighbor asked him to come outside and help defuse the situation, his family said.

When he approached the group, however, members of the feuding families attacked him, according to Auburn police Cmdr. Mike Hirman.

“We’re still trying to sort it out, but he somehow got involved with these two families and the aggression was then directed at him,” Hirman said.

Tui’s wife called his brothers and said “he’d been shot, but he had really just been jumped,” explained Kevin, who drove to the neighborhood along with Skeevie, Danny and a cousin.

The feuding families had scattered when the Sheltons arrived. But they went to a duplex in the 3700 block of C Court Southeast, where they’d been told members of one of the families lived.

Hirman said the Sheltons approached the door of the home around 5 p.m.

He said it’s not exactly clear what happened next, but either the Sheltons got to the door or the shooter came out.

“They were gathered at the door and this person either came out, or they started in, and shots were fired,” Hirman said.

Skeevie was shot in the head and died almost immediately, according to police. Tui was shot in the chest, the bullet barely missing his heart.

Leau, the uncle, said Monday that Tui’s breathing tube had been taken out and that he was talking.

The alleged shooter, a 19-year-old man, was arrested on investigation of murder and booked into King County Jail. He will make his first appearance in court Tuesday, according to King County prosecutors.

Prosecutors said the suspect told police he fired in self-defense.

According to his brothers, Skeevie was the wisest and most athletic among the Shelton brothers.

“He was quiet, but he had the best smile and everybody loved him,” Kevin said. “He was a real good role model.”

In addition to coaching at the Auburn middle school, Skeevie was a youth leader, a trustee and the choir’s sound and light man at the Auburn Samoan Nazarene Church, where his uncle is pastor.

“He was the nicest boy you ever could know,” Leau said.

On Sunday night as word of the shooting spread through the family’s communities, the Harborview emergency room filled with more than 200 people, Leau said.

Among them was UW football coach Steve Sarkisian, who mentioned the double shooting on his blog: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Danny Shelton and his family. This is a tragic incident and any support he and his family get at this time is appreciated.”

Danny “Saili” Shelton is a defensive tackle who was twice named the South Puget Sound League 4A North’s offensive and defensive lineman of the year. “It’s pretty hard,” Danny Shelton said Monday.

Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or

Seattle Times staff reporter Sandy Ringer and news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed

to this report.