An outpouring of grief followed the news of the shooting death of Donnie Chin, the director of the International District Emergency Center, early Thursday morning.

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An outpouring of grief followed the news of the shooting death of Donnie Chin, the director of the International District Emergency Center, early Thursday.

Assunta Ng, publisher of the Northwest Asian Weekly:

“He is the patrol for the ID, volunteering for the ID. The last person I thought would get killed is Donnie. He is a survivor, he has survival instincts. People in the community are shocked, they are in disbelief.”

Asian Counseling and Referral Service:

“We lost a hero. Our hearts grieve along with our community. We all loved and respected Donnie, a community organizer, community builder, and community leader who looked out for, and watched over, our youth, seniors, and other vulnerable members of our community in the I.D. for 45 years. He promoted public safety, protected the community, and was one of the community’s beating hearts. He gave his life for our community, and we will never forget him.”

King County Executive Dow Constantine:

“The loss of Donnie Chin hits at the very heart of our community. Our hearts go out to friends and loved ones, and those whose lives he touched.”

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray:

“Donnie was a great community leader and his tragic death is a tremendous loss to Chinatown-International District, the broader Asian-Pacific Islander community, all of Seattle, and to me personally. As co-founder of the International District Emergency Center, he dedicated his life to making the Chinatown-International District — the neighborhood he loved — a safe place for all. I had the opportunity to work with Donnie over the years, including at our Find It, Fix It walk in the neighborhood last summer. His focus was always on the health and safety of others.

“On behalf of the entire city, I want to express my deepest sympathies to Donnie’s family, friends and the community.”

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole:

“I was shocked and saddened to learn of Donnie Chin’s death. He was a wonderful friend to the SPD and will be sorely missed. We join his family and friends in mourning this terrible loss. We will also work tirelessly to bring his killer to justice.”

Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess:

“The shooting of Donnie Chin is a shocking and profound loss to the people of the Chinatown-International District and the entire Seattle community. For decades, Donnie was a true servant to the people, graciously and humbly caring for visitors and residents of his neighborhood. He loved his neighbors deeply. He was passionate in his service. He was ‘on duty’ 24/7, always responding with a helping hand. Donnie’s life of love will always be stronger than the senseless act of violence that cut it short. The thoughts and prayers of Donnie’s friends in city government are with his family and friends in this incredibly difficult time.”

From the archives

See a profile of Donnie Chin that ran in The Seattle Times in 1991  

More on Donnie Chin


Gifts in Chin’s memory

Donations may be made on Chin’s behalf to the International District Emergency Center, via the Seattle Foundation’s IDEC page.

Seattle City Councilman Bruce Harrell:

“I am saddened and outraged by the shooting death of Donnie Chin earlier this morning. Donnie spent a lifetime helping people, saving countless lives over decades of service as founder and director of the Chinatown-International District Emergency Center. This city has a lost a man with a great heart and a lifelong commitment to the service of others. My thoughts and prayers are with Donnie’s family and all those who loved him.”

Seattle Councilman John Okamoto:

“Donnie Chin was a beloved community member who kept the International District safe at great cost to himself. This is a man who — just weeks ago — was the first responder to administer aid to my ailing father. He is a hero and a friend, and I will miss him dearly.”

Gov. Jay Inslee:

“Trudi and I share in the terrible shock and deep mourning following this morning’s tragic and violent loss of Donnie Chin. We don’t know exactly what happened on that street in Seattle’s International District early this morning. Yet there’s no doubt, as his friends have said today, that the ID lost its savior, its protector, its hero and a big piece of its heart. Donnie Chin was a man who dedicated his life to making Chinatown and the International District safe for everyone. He had been doing that since he was a young man because he saw a need and he filled it.

“I am sure all Washingtonians join me in sending our thoughts and prayers to Donnie’s family, friends and countless people who will miss his presence on the streets of the International District.”

Sen. Patty Murray:

“Saddened by the loss of Donnie Chin, who did so much good for Seattle. My thoughts are with his family and the Chinatown/ID community.”