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Monday, April 2, 2007

Breaking News: The Victim

posted by on April 2 at 12:07 PM

News intern Jonah Spangenthal-Lee interviewed someone who works in the office where this morning’s shooting took place who reports that the victim was a woman named Rebecca Griego. Griego worked at Gould Hall at the College of Architecture and Planning as the Managing Director of Real Estate. She had a restraining order against the shooter. Our source, who also works at Gould Hall, Jad DeLisle, says the shooter was Griego’s ex-boyfriend.

UPDATE: Here’s Jonah’s report from UW Campus Security Assistant Chief Ray Wittmier.

At 9:31 a.m. the UW police recieved a series of calls from the third floor of Gould Hall. Five or six campus security officers responded in two minutes. On the fourth-floor, southeast corner office, they found two people with gunshot wounds. A man and woman. There was a handgun in the room. It appeared to be a murder suicide.

Wittmier said: “I think we will find they’re not students. It’s a woman in her mid to late 20s and a man in his 40s. There was definitely someone in the building that had a restraining order.”

Jonah also interviewed students who said the victim was a guest lecturer at the school and was a liason between the faculty and students. One student had heard about her restraining order a month ago, but says: “It could have been going on longer that. She had problems with this person before.”

UW Security says there are no security measures in place to keep people out of the building. And this morning’s news will not change that. They report that guns are banned on campus. Witmier “wagers that the man probably did not have permission to have a gun on campus.”

According to a custodial manager that Jonah just interviewed, pictures had been circulated to staff of the man with the restraining order.

Another custodial worker that Jonah interviewed hid in a closet on the fourth floor during the shooting and described the victim as a “very nice, quiet girl.” According to her, the “victim was being stalked.”

RSS icon Comments


Is it ethical to release the victim's name on Slog?

Posted by DOUG. | April 2, 2007 12:13 PM

DOUG, you're absolutely right.

Why don't you have some fucking class there, Josh? Can't you wait until the official announcement? It's not like people that don't know her couldn't guess what's happened, but the least you could do was to have a little bit of respect, pal.

Posted by bma | April 2, 2007 12:22 PM

Is anybody really surprised? Number one cause of death in the workplace for women: ex-boyfriends/husbands.

Posted by Joe | April 2, 2007 12:27 PM

Well, at least now the relatives of Ms. Greigo (or is it Griego or Greico - you've got it spelled all three ways) won't need to wait for a police chaplain to gently break the news of her death - they can read it on Slog! Thanks, Josh...

Posted by Rich | April 2, 2007 12:28 PM

Take down the name already! There's a reason they haven't released it yet. Journalism 101, jaysus.

Posted by uwdawg | April 2, 2007 12:33 PM

Why is anyone surprised? Typical fucking Stranger...

You and Dan owe the victim's family an apology, asshole.

Posted by Stranger Ethics | April 2, 2007 12:39 PM

"When police arrived at the fourth-floor office in Gould Hall, they found two people dead: a woman, identified by family members as Rebecca Griego, and a man. A handgun was found in the office."

By the Seattle Times report I think her family knew before it showed up on the slog.

Posted by Ryan | April 2, 2007 12:39 PM

Yeah, the name actually has been released, judging by some other news reports that are referencing it - so it's kind of a moot point now.

Posted by tsm | April 2, 2007 12:41 PM

Wasn't moot when they released it...makes a difference.

Posted by No Love | April 2, 2007 12:55 PM

I think it's totally out of bounds to release the name moot point or not now, who the hell do you think you are to make that sort of decision? don't you think before you write? or is it only about the story for you? I am really seriously disappointed in the ethics of reporting on this blog. You obviously have no standards for privacy in your editorial dept. as has been shown in the past when you released the names of your own employees whom had been fired.

Posted by I agree | April 2, 2007 1:16 PM

Just another example of how lame the Stranger is. Dan should step up and do something, but won't. Such horrible lack of judgement. Did you think you had a scoop??? Unreal. Again.

Posted by I agree 2 | April 2, 2007 2:16 PM

Have to agree with the crowd here, Dan. SLOG should have left the names out until the family allowed it.


Posted by Will in Seattle | April 2, 2007 2:17 PM

I understand that reporting the woman's name before it was released offended some readers. The concern is that the family will learn the news from us before they learn it from official sources like the UW or the police.

For the record, the family already knew before we reported it. Although, I understand that point doesn't ultimately address the larger question here: Should a paper or blog publish the name as a rule?

We have no control over official sources and cannot possibly monitor our reporting on a breaking news story to meet official timetables. Today's shooting is a major news story in our city, and I believe it is our job to get the details out.

Our editorial dept. does indeed have standards for privacy, and often (most regularly in Charles Mudede's Police Beat column) we redact names when we believe the information: isn't germane to the story; would invade someone's privacy; or is completely inappropriate—as was the case, for example, in our recent story about a teenage prostitute where we redacted her name from our report.

Naming the victim in today's shooting did not fall into that standard because this family's privacy was about to be upended whether we reported the name or not. Additionally, I do not believe the horror of the news for the family would have been substantively altered whether it was reported by us or the authorities.

In fact, people come to Slog and the Stranger to get details on the news in our city. This is the way the media works. If you're startled or stunned by the news you learn here or on the Web in general, there's probably nothing I can do to allay your concerns.

Certainly, this is tragic and terrible news for the family. Our reporting it does not change that.

Posted by Josh Feit | April 2, 2007 2:48 PM

The family doesn't have a choice, William.

Posted by Shaniqua | April 2, 2007 2:50 PM

Josh, you did OK. You still my boy.

Posted by Shaniqua | April 2, 2007 2:51 PM

"Additionally, I do not believe the horror of the news for the family would have been substantively altered whether it was reported by us or the authorities." -Josh Feit

Josh this is a real convient way for you to see things. Do you actually know the next of kin and how they are taking this? Or is this another a wordy justification to cover up an obvious lack of judgement.

Let the grieving speak for themselves without making quicky decisions for them.

Posted by Zander | April 2, 2007 3:09 PM

My connections to the school and department aside (I did not know her), it breaks my heart that another woman has fallen victim to domestic terror and violence. And yet another reason to ban handguns.

Posted by BFDS | April 2, 2007 3:13 PM

attention reactionary fucktards. the womans name was on the Seattle Times before this post was uh, posted. change your diapers then step back up on your worn out soap boxes. you're shouting over absolutely nothing. THE TIMES PRINTED THE NAME ALREADY. now please, STFU!

Posted by cranky | April 2, 2007 3:15 PM

JOSH FEIT: The fact that you twice misspelled her name in the initial posting reflects how "germane" it was to the reporting.

Posted by DOUG. | April 2, 2007 3:21 PM

The policy that Josh outlined is perfectly reasonable and one followed by most reputable news organizations. The family already knew the news. End of story. If you want to lambast the media, focus your wrath on the fearmongers at KING, KONG, and KOMO who sensationalize every minor house fire and random act of violence just to pad their corporate pockets.

Posted by Paul E | April 2, 2007 3:33 PM

I haven't been William since I lived in Canada, Shanie.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 2, 2007 4:12 PM

and I'm not sure if I knew her or not. I hope it's not the one I'm thinking of.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 2, 2007 4:14 PM

I want to thank you for posting the victim's name... I have classes in Gould and have been getting calls throughtout the day from friends, family, and even exes worried that I may have been one of the victims. This is a great tradgedy, but what's happened has happened and people need to know.

Posted by Johnny | April 2, 2007 4:34 PM

Apparently the Stranger's standards for reporting breaking news don't include making sure a victim's name isn't misspelt multiple times in the coverage (but at least you fixed it!).

You were beaten by the dailies anyway -- so what was the big rush? Honestly, when it comes to breaking news, you guys are total amateurs.

Posted by huh | April 2, 2007 7:32 PM

As long as Dan Savage can't feel bad, it doesn't matter. Long live the Stranger.

Posted by MC Rove | April 2, 2007 8:01 PM

Actually I am making fun of DS for different points. Quit being so sensitive. If someone got murdered in the UW you know it was going to break the new.

Posted by MC Rove | April 2, 2007 8:03 PM

Sorry, I don't type so well when I'm drunk, but really if someone murdered his girlfriend that was working at that dept. don't you think it would make the news? I just wish she had a cooler boyfriend.

Posted by MC Rove | April 2, 2007 8:06 PM

Would anyone care if all these comments were deleted?

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | April 2, 2007 8:20 PM

Mine too, of course.

But still, why isn't the Stranger allowed to post victims' names, but it's alright if some random Livejournal or Myspace page does it instead? These are the sites that post the names first, not the media.

Sure, the Stranger's judgement isn't perfect all the time, but those of you who are expressing outrage at the divulging of the name today are just fucked. Sorry.

Sorry for saying any of this. I wish Griego's family well.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | April 2, 2007 8:24 PM

The University of Washington needs to stop denying 2nd amendments rights to its faculty, staff and student. If are you an employee or student at the University of Washington, you can be fired or expelled for carrying a firearm to protect yourself:

WAC 478-124-020(2)(e) purports to prohibit firearm possession on the University of Washington campus. Hell, it even purports to prohibit “Mace” personal protection sprays, which fall in the category of “dangerous chemicals”.

Under WAC 478-124-030(1), if a member of the general public carries a firearm on campus, the only “sanction” that can be imposed is that a uniformed UW police officer can ask the person to leave the campus. This conduct is certainly not a crime, except to the extent it might be under general criminal law (i.e. felons can’t have firearms, gun permit needed for concealed weapon, etc.).

But under the remainder of WAC 478-124-030, a student or employee can be disciplined even for lawfully carrying a firearm with a state concealed weapons permit, up to termination of employment or permanent expulsion from the university.

Posted by Richard Pope | April 2, 2007 8:58 PM

In Israel a woman would be able to defend herself. Women participate in mandatory military service and know how to shoot and kill and attacker. Israel is light years ahead on women's rights.

Posted by Josh | April 2, 2007 9:20 PM

For what it's worth, I knew her and am not offended by the Stranger's decision to publish her name in SLOG. I was working off campus today and was frantic to know who in my building was killed, and, despite consistent refreshing of several different sites, found her name published on the Seattle Times website before here. The greater issue is that yet another good person died in such a senseless manner.

Posted by Erin | April 2, 2007 9:46 PM

All this debate aside...

1. Sad that this sort of obsessed stalker shit happens, that people are so insecure and codepedent that they feel their lives are invalid without someone-or-rather and they have to go and do things like this.
2. Shit happens and asking for UW to take concrete preventative action isn't really practical. Locking down every building on the UW campus with metal detectors and armed guards isn't feasible. There really isn't anything that can be done, and honestly, nothing should be done. This was an isolated incident, and who's to say this guy, if he couldn't cap her on campus, wouldn't have capped her off campus later? Reactionist security measures don't really solve or address anything.
3. I don't buy the media/legal 'don't give the name of the deceased until well after the fact' policy, ever. As long as the family knows she's gone, tell the rest of us. What honestly is the purpose of keeping it a secret once immediate family is aware? People are fragile? You think 'it's just not right'? Get a clue and get over yourselves.

Posted by Gomez | April 2, 2007 11:16 PM
34 I'm just getting pissed. Another woman died because her ex was an abuser and decided that killing her (and himself) was the easy way out. Why...WHY?!...aren't people more upset when these situations happen??

What if it was your sister? Your mother? Your neice or friend??

The news stated that 349 women died as a result of domestic violence in the last 10 years. And that's jut the reported cases! We should be outraged! We should be asking why someone didn't intervene and get him some much needed help! We should ask why she stayed as long as she did... Why didn't have the resources she needed to protect herself...

God. It makes me sick that yet another woman (or person, I know that men are victims of DV, too) had to die people of another person's delusions and violent ways.

Posted by Avoidance of the REAL ISSUE at hand | April 2, 2007 11:35 PM

The only safe way for a slave girl to escape from her evil master is to use the services of Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson. The man who would respect a restraining order would not need one in the first place.

Posted by Big Fool | April 3, 2007 6:40 PM

Uummmm, guns should be banned. From males.

Women should still be allowed to possess firearms in order to protect themselves from fucking psychos like this.

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