Police Identify “Persons of Interest” In Danny Vega Case

This post was originally posted at 1:36 pm.

Update 2: Police have released photos of the persons of interest in the case. There’s also a $1,000 reward for info leading to an arrest:

Update:  Police have identified several people of interest in their investigation into the robbery and murder of Danny Vega. We’re told Seattle police will release surveillance photos and video this afternoon before the  department meets with neighbors in South Seattle about the status of the case.

Seattle police and Filipino community leaders are holding a meeting in South Seattle tonight to discuss the investigation into the fatal beating and robbery of Danny Vega.

Vega,  a longtime south end resident and hairdresser, was beaten and robbed on November 15 by three men near 42nd Ave S. and S. Othello St. The men beat Vega into unconsciousness and stole his cellphone. Vega was able to make it home, where his roommate called 911. Vega wasn’t able to give police much of a description of the suspects before he was taken to the hospital where he fell into a coma and died 12 days later. Vega’s family has said they believe he may have been attacked because he was gay, but police aren’t investigating the case as a hate crime.

Department sources say the area where Vega was attacked has been a hotspot for robberies recently.  Small groups of young men have been stealing cell phones from victims on the street, but few of the incidents have turned violent, a source says.

Police are now investigating whether members of a violent street gang known as the Goon Squad—who police believe may be to be responsible for a number of the street robberies in the South Precinct—might have had a role in Vega’s death.

Police have been canvassing the neighborhood where Vega was attacked, looking for surveillance cameras that might have captured the suspects or the attack. However, because the attack happened after dark, police aren’t sure whether they’ll be able to glean much from any surveillance footage from the area near the attack.

Seattle Police Department spokesman Sean Whitcomb declined to discuss details of the investigation, but said the department is “following up on all leads and possibilities.”‘

Tonight’s meeting is at 6:00 pm at the Filipino Community Center, at 5740 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S.

Anyone with information about the case can call SPD with tips at 206-233-5000.