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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Crime/Public Safety

‘He was the best kind of person:’ 21-year-old shooting victim remembered by fiancée

Tavius J. Fry Cooley was trying to break up a confrontation after a party at his apartment on Dec. 18, when he was shot and killed , according to court documents.

A suspect had not been identified as of Wednesday. Cooley’s death is one of three unsolved homicides in Spokane in 2022.

Fry Cooley, 21, and his fiancée, Katelynn McConnell, 18, were shot and transported to the hospital on Dec. 18 .

The two were engaged for two years . They met while attending Lewis & Clark High School and had been dating ever since, McConnell said.

“He just had a beautiful smile,” McConnell recalled. “You could see his smile shining across the courtyard.”

Fry Cooley hated that his birthday was four days after Christmas, so McConnell decided to throw him a birthday party at their apartment in north Spokane, 212 E. Wedgewood Way, the night of Dec. 17.

According to court documents, a dispute arose between some guests at the party involving the teenage sister of Jaliauna S. Templeton, who was sentenced to prison last year for the accidental killing of Daunte O. Frazier at a house party in 2020. Fry Cooley and McConnell decided to end the party in an effort to diffuse the situation, even though this upset some of their guests, court documents said.

However, party guests continued to harass the teenage girl outside of the apartment complex about her sister’s involvement in Frazier’s death, documents said. Fry Cooley and McConnell came outside to tell them to be quiet and to leave.

Fry Cooley was about 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, and “was pretty scary to people who didn’t know him,” McConnell said. “He always made sure if there was a bad situation, he would help stop it.”

McConnell said she didn’t know why her fiancé was shot . He did not have any enemies, and the two of them kept a small circle of friends, she said.

Fry Cooley was shot once in the upper right chest. McConnell said she lunged forward to prevent the perpetrator from shooting him again while he was down, but was shot in the arm herself.

“No one acted quick enough,” she said.

Violence already had hit Fry Cooley’s family in 2022 before he was killed December.

His mother, Daisha D. Fry, 41, was killed in February 2022 after her boyfriend beat her with a baseball bat in Colorado Springs, according to court records from El Paso County District Court. Douglas E. Hawkins, 33, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder by the Colorado Springs Police Department.

The two are said to have met in Spokane in 2019, after Hawkins was released from the Airway Heights Correctional Center, court documents said. They two traveled across the country with her two other children until Hawkins was arrested for choking Fry while in Detroit, a Colorado Springs police report said. She and her children went to live in Colorado Springs with a relative .

Fry Cooley, who did not move with his mother, worked various jobs in Spokane throughout the year, including as a landscaper and roofer, McConnell said.

“He was the best kind of person there is,” she said. “He was full of life and super bright in every single way.”

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