Police get a break in Robinson murder case

Ronnie Estoque, Staff reporter

Robert Robinson
Yuen Lui
Robert Robinson

There has been a break in the unsolved drive by shooting death of 17-year-old Robert Robinson, Jr. On March 15, 2015, the Cleveland community was shocked by Robinson’s murder on Beacon Hill. He was shot once in the chest as he was walking north on 15th Avenue South near South Forest Street. Robinson later died at Harborview Medical Center.

Witnesses said the shooter fled the scene in a blue Honda. Unfortunately, his case never gained traction, and for over a year the case did not produce answers regarding Robinson’s death.

This past February, a Seattle police homicide detective received a phone call from a former Seattle man now living on the East Coast who admitted his involvement in the shooting. The 23-year-old caller told the detective that the death of Robinson was “eating him alive,” and that there was also a second suspect involved who was killed in an unrelated shooting in West Seattle last October.

After taking the caller’s statement by phone, detectives flew to New York to conduct an in-person interview.

A search warrant was filed in February by homicide detective Frank Clark, but was not filed in King County Superior Court until late April. With the warrant, detectives will be able to gain phone records to the two possible suspects and confirm whether or not they were responsible for the killing of Robinson.

Detective Clark, however, stated that the call “has provided information consistent with this crime that was not available to the general public,” including the caliber type of firearm used in the shooting. They also linked a blue 1993 Honda Civic to the brother of the deceased suspect.

According to the affidavit, which was taken from a phone interview with the suspect, the two men drove to the Beacon Hill area to look for Robinson “so they could shoot him” after the men perceived Robinson had “poisoned” them two days prior to the shooting. The caller said that after shooting Robinson, the men drove to Alki Beach and “threw the gun in the water.”

Other than a vehicle description, the Seattle Police Department did not have much to go on for the case, and this may be the breakthrough needed to bring justice for Robinson’s death.

Robinson was passionate for social justice and an avid poet. His passion for writing and music led him to pen multiple songs, many of which he would post to his Facebook page.