west seattle shooting West Seattle Family Coping With Crisis

(Photo by Elaine Thompson/AP Photo)


Many of you may remember the horrible tragedy a month ago that left four people dead and one wounded in West Seattle.

The surviving members of the Phan/Harm family are struggling with their loss and beginning now to rebuild their lives, but they could use your help.  Our friends at Southwest Youth and Family Services met with some of the family members to assess their needs and determine how the agency, and the public, can best help out.

Here is the letter from Southwest Youth and Family Services.  (The family’s debt with the landlord has now been paid)

Dear Friend,

I’d like to share with you an experience that I just had.  At 11:00 this morning, I met with the  surviving members of the family that was massacred in West Seattle.  If you need the background story, I enclosed two article links below. To summarize, the grandmother of the Phan/Harm family, who lived through the genocidal Khmer Rouge attacks of Cambodia went off of her medication that helped her deal with her PTSD and fatally shot five members of her family in West Seattle.  Her youngest grandchild, Nivia, age 7, was home from school day with a 101 degree fever and witnessed the killings of her father, two sisters (one of whom was pregnant) and the shooting of her mother,Thyda. Grandmother then tried to shoot Nivia, but she ran out of bullets and while she was reloading, Nivia’s 17 year old brother, Kevin, grabbed Nivia  and threw her out the window, he then fled himself.   As this was happening, grandfather was coming home and heard the final shots as he opened the door, he saw the grandmother take her own life.

They were here at the agency today because they need help.  They need counseling, community, love and financial support.

Please join me in contributing what you can; the family is in desperate need of $1800 to pay for the repairs that their landlord is charging them for the damages (this debt has now been paid). Because most of their furniture was bloodstained, or worse, they need furniture and mattresses. The missed shots destroyed many household items as well, so glasses, pots, pillows, etc. would be greatly appreciated too.

The mother is still healing from her gunshot wounds and cannot work.  The surviving family is in great need of emotional support, which they will receive from counselors at SWYFS, but they need the basics taken care of  in order to start the healing process, so please if you can donate any money, do.  If you would rather support the family with a Safeway or Albertson’s gift card, they greatly need money for food as well.  Or, if you have any gently used household items, they would be appreciated as well.

The Phan/Harm family are currently living in temporary housing, but we are working with them to find permanent housing near the children’s schools.

I was able to spend time with Nivia today and we were able to talk about some of her favorite things; stuffed animals, Barbie, movies and books.  She would very much like to read the The Magic Treehouse series and is going to be a cat for Halloween.  I looked into her eyes and saw joy there; she is very resilient.  She was even able to laugh a bit, but told me she can not sleep because she has nightmares; and wasn’t at school today because when she is able to sleep it is on the floor and that that is very uncomfortable and her mother wanted her to get her rest today.

Please keep her and her family in your prayers or thoughts.

Below is a link where you can make a donation.  My goal is to raise/have pledges for the whole $1800 by end of day tomorrow. Please work with me so that this can happen for the family. Feel free to call me with questions, or come by the agency to drop off any donations.  If you would like to send in a check,  a gift card to the grocery store or a letter of encouragement/support, please mail it to:


Attention: Phan/Harm family support

4555 Delridge Way SW

Seattle, WA  98106

Many thanks for rallying with us for the Phan/Harm Family.



For your records, our tax ID # is: 911-17862

Donate Here Link: http://swyfs.org/support_us/

New Story Links:



Comments (2)
  1. missy says:

    Bless these people and those who help them. I will do whatever I can. No one should have to go through this…

  2. missy says:

    Bless these people and those who help them. I will do whatever I can. No one should have to go through this…

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