Likely victim who worked at Macy’s ‘was so sweet,’ sister says

Related: 5 fatally shot in Skagit County mall; suspect still at large

EVERETT — Karen Van Horn describes her younger sister in a single word: “classy.”

Shayla Martin, 52, of Mount Vernon, spent decades selling dresses and makeup at Macy’s.

She was at her job in the cosmetics department in Macy’s at Cascade Mall in Burlington Friday night when a gunman opened fire with a rifle, killing five people.

Martin did not come home Friday night. Van Horn said her family has heard from a witness to the shootings that her sister was among the dead.

While there was no official confirmation by Saturday afternoon, Van Horn said she’s certain her sister is gone. The identities of other victims, too, were beginning to emerge Saturday as those who knew them surmised on social media that they were dead.

“I would have heard something,” said Van Horn, a longtime employee of The Daily Herald.

She was headed to Skagit County from Everett to be with Martin’s boyfriend and others keeping vigil.

“She was so sweet,” Van Horn said Saturday afternoon. “She was just very indpendent. She wanted to make her own way. She didn’t want to rely on anyone else.”

Her sister loved gymnastics and dance when she was young, and as a teen she worked at restaurants her parents had operated in Mount Vernon and Everett.

She was an avid reader, regularly devouring two or three books a week. She also had a practical streak.

“She liked the finer things in life and it didn’t always fit her pocket book,” Van Horn said. “She made things work. She wasn’t above going to Value Village. She was very classy.”

Van Horn said she learned that something was wrong when she was contacted by a niece who had heard about the shootings and was worried because she couldn’t reach Martin. Van Horn said she’d called her sister earlier and wasn’t initially worried when she didn’t hear back.

Then she saw coverage of the shootings on television.

Talk to us

More in Local News

WSDOT workers open up the Smokey Point Rest Area on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Free coffee will be back soon at Smokey Point rest areas

Everett’s Silver Lake rest area for southbound I-5 drivers remains closed while WSDOT works on the facility.

The Everett Music Initiative team, (from left) Ryan Crowther, Nate Feaster and Michael Hannon. (Everett Music Initiative)
As Everett Music Initiative turns 10, downtown no longer a ‘ghost town’

The group will celebrate its birthday Thursday night with a party to kick off the eighth Fisherman’s Village Music Fest.

Everett
Pro skateboarding competition coming to Everett in August

Street League Skateboarding’s championship tour will be at Angel of the Winds arena for two days.

Drivers heading north on Interstate 5 will take a detour from Highway 104 to 220th Street SW and back to I-5 this weekend during nightly lane closures for Sound Transit light rail work. (Sound Transit)
Light rail work closing I-5 North lanes nightly this weekend

Crews need to close northbound lanes between 220th Street SW and Highway 104. Drivers have two detour options.

Doug Ewing looks out over a small section of the Snohomish River that he has been keeping clean for the last ten years on Thursday, May 19, 2022, at the Oscar Hoover Water Access Site in Snohomish, Washington. Ewing scours the shorelines and dives into the depths of the river in search of trash left by visitors, and has removed 59 truckloads of litter from the quarter-mile stretch over the past decade. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Diving for trash in Snohomish River, biologist fills 59 pickup beds

At Thomas’ Eddy, Doug Ewing estimates he has collected 3,000 pounds of lead fishing weights. And that’s just one spot.

Epic Ford on the corner of 52nd Street and Evergreen Way in Everett is closed. The dealership has been in business for more than 50 years. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)
After 50 years, Everett’s Epic Ford dealership closes shop

It opened in 1971, when gas guzzling muscle cars like the Ford Mustang still ruled the road.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
A climate bill that died in Legislature lives on, in plans for future

A bill requiring cities and counties to cut greenhouse gases failed to pass, but they’re planning to do it anyway.

Most of Compass Health’s clinical employees at the Marysville, Monroe and Snohomish sites will transfer to its Everett locations. (Sue Misao / The Herald)
Lawsuit blames counselor’s ‘unethical’ relationship for Marysville man’s death

Joshua Klick was referred to a counselor at Compass Health. Two years later he was shot and killed.

Five 2021 stories in the Herald won Excellence in Journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.
The Daily Herald brings home awards from annual journalism competition

The Herald got three first place wins and three runner-up spots in SPJ’s Northwest Excellence in Journalism.

Most Read