Murder victim's friends: 'This was a senseless, senseless thing'

SEATTLE - A man who was gunned down in his own car Friday night on 15th Avenue NE was remembered by stunned and grieving friends at an impromptu vigil near his home Saturday.

The victim, Yancy Noll, was a wine steward for the QFC grocery chain and was well-known in the wine community.

Now his friends are struggling to come to terms with his murder.

The shooting happened just before 7:30 p.m. Friday in the 7500 block of 15th Avenue NE.

When police arrived they found Noll sitting in the driver's seat of his maroon Subaru in the middle of the street. He had been shot several times. He was rushed to Harborview Medical Center, where he later died of his injuries.

According to police, a white male in his late 20s to 30s with dark hair pulled up next to Noll's car in a smaller silver or gray BMW and for unknown reasons opened fire at him, hitting him several times.

A memorial is growing for Noll near his home, just blocks from where he was shot.

Michael Leonard was one of those who came to remember him Saturday night. Like Noll's other friends, he suddenly finds himself in the midst of a bizarre, inexplicable tragedy.

"We barbecue, we drink beer. We're Americans. ... We've never had to deal with this. I don't want people to deal with this," says Leonard. "This was a senseless, senseless thing."

Friends describe Noll as a good-hearted outdoorsman who had been planning a kayaking trip in the coming days. They can imagine no motive for killing him.

"He had a heart of gold. He really cared about people," says another friend, Laural Waters. "It just feels senseless, given who he was."

Seattle police have made no arrests.

Anyone with any information is asked to call 911 or the Seattle Police Homicide Tip Line at (206) 233-5000. Anonymous tips are welcome.