Fifteen years after she said her husband was shot and killed, Ellen Larkins comforted a dying stranger who was shot just outside her Leschi home last week. Speaking to reporters at Powell Barnett Park Wednesday Larkins recalled how she ran to the aid of Ronnie Brown after he was shot April 25th.
“I thought if I just talked to him he would stay here,” she said. Brown, 36, later died of his injuries.
Larkins joined East Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis on Wednesday to urge witnesses to come forward and call for an end to the violence after five April shootings claimed the lives of three people and left another man injured.
Davis and police officials have said they don’t know if the shootings were related, but some appeared to be a retaliation for past violence.
CHS reported that Kevin Brown, the victim in the 22nd and Union slaying on April 19th, was a 24-year-old police and prosecutors say had a lengthy criminal history and was affiliated with the Deuce 8 Central District gang. Meanwhile, an early Friday, April 25th shooting near 26th and Columbia in which a 26-year-old was shot in the chest but survived was reportedly a street robbery attempt gone bad.
April 18th: Officers arrested an 18-year-old man and located two handguns at 23rd and Union after responding to calls of shots fired
April 19th: Kevin Brown, 24, was shot to death at 22nd and Union
April 24th: A 20-year-old was shot to death in Leschi at 28th Ave S and S Lane St south of Jackson
April 25th: A 26-year-old man was shot in the chest after an attempted robbery at 26th Ave and E Columbia
April 25th: Ronnie Brown, 36, was shot to death in Leschi at 28th and S Charles St
Police have not been able to reach direct witnesses the other shootings, even though one was committed in broad daylight.
“This is a desperate plea,” Davis said. “Nobody is coming forward.”
The shootings came as patrols had already been increased in the area to deal with the seasonal uptick in street violence. Davis said more target patrols from different units would be added in the Central District and Leschi.
Rev. Harriet Walden, who founded the group Mothers for Police Accountability, called for a renewed effort to work with Seattle police to bring justice to those who were killed.
“We’re living a community of trauma,” said Walden.
Charlie James of the Martin Luther King County Institute also joined the press conference to urge local businesses to hire young men from the Central Area, saying poverty and a lack of useful skills are the root cause of the recent killings.
“We got to give them hope,” he said. “We can’t just tell them to stop doing what they’re doing without offering something better.”
Thursday, a community march is planned starting at 23rd and Union at 5:30 PM:
We love our young brothers and sisters, but we need them to see, hear and feel it. Come march with us from 23rd and Union to 28th and Jackson. Then to New Hope Baptist Church for a meeting of the minds to put together a plan to save our young people.
— Brad (@northwestgangs) April 27, 2014