‘She had a good smile’: Loved ones of murdered Yakima woman gather to bring peace to community

Tara Owen Yakima

YAKIMA, Wash. — Three days after 31-year-old Tara Owen was fatally shot in an alleyway near Folsom Avenue in Yakima, her loved ones gathered at the site of her killing.

Family and friends prayed and shared memories of Owen, including that she was always happy and had a good smile.

“I heard people talk … about how she always had a smile on her face,” Yakima Police Chief Matt Murray said after attending the gathering. “Several of the family members came up to talk to me about the tragedy.”

The gathering was held by the Yakima Association of Faith Communities, which organizes Moments of Blessing following a homicide in the city; the hope is to bring healing to sites of violence and peace for the community.

“It’s tragic. I mean, it’s heartbreaking,” Murray said. “You see these people who’ve just lost somebody very important to them in their life.”

Police responded about 9:30 a.m. Saturday to reports of shots fired on Folsom Avenue and found Owen suffering from a gunshot wound in a nearby alley.

Officers say medical personnel were unable to resuscitate her.  An autopsy Tuesday morning confirmed Owen died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

The killing marks the 7th homicide this year in Yakima County.

No arrests have been made. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Yakima Police Department by calling 911 or 509-575-6200.

Anonymous tips can be made to Yakima County Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-248-9980, submitting a tip on the organization’s website, or through the “P3 Tips” app.