Aaron Sullivan


originally posted 2010

This week on KBCS’s One World Report, you’ll hear my gripping and intimately personal interview with Dr. Debra Sullivan, mother of the late Aaron Sullivan.

Aaron was murdered while sitting in his car, July 22nd 2009 in Seattle’s Leschi/Mt. Baker area.

I first interviewed Dr. Sullivan months after the shooting.  I was struck at how open she was with the details of losing her son in such a horrific way.  In the process of writing that story, I interviewed Aaron’s sister and the 2 people sitting in the car with him when he was shot- his girlfriend, who was next to him, and his best friend who sat directly behind him.

It was that experience that solidified for me, the power of audio.  It was the first time I posted actual recordings of interviews instead of transcripts.  I wanted you to hear what I heard, and I knew it couldn’t be conveyed any other way.

With that in mind, it was somewhat of a full circle moment sitting with Debra in the KBCS studios, preparing to bring this story to your ears.  Debra offers us all a very special gift- she gives us insight into what it is like to lose a child to gun violence, and not just the mourning, but the logistics as well.  What is it like to be notified your child is dead?  What is it like to see misinformation about your loved one in the newspaper, and read the hateful comments online? What is it like to intersect with detectives, the prosecutor’s office, the victim’s family, your own family, and so on.  Debra takes us through that experience and her story is one we can all learn from.  It encapsulates “you think you know, but you have no idea.”

To Lose a Son

The Life and Murder of Aaron Sullivan

Prelude: Aaron Sullivan