A group dedicated to increasing public safety on Capitol Hill is planning a vigil and march against crime Saturday night to begin in the Pine St. parking lot where a 23-year-old was gunned down this past weekend.
“This candlelight vigil is focused on the mantra, ‘OUR NEIGHBORHOOD BELONGS TO US, NOT CRIME,’ the flyer states. “Violence of any kind is unwelcome.”
The event is being organized by Social Outreach Seattle, a group started in 2013 by community organizer Shaun Knittel, and Daniel Goodman, the victim in a recent Capitol Hill robbery and assault, turned neighborhood activist.
The march includes a vigil and moment of silence across from the Baltic Room in the parking lot where Ramon Mitchell was shot and killed in a gunfire-filled melee just after 2 AM last Sunday.
“Saturday night Ramon Mitchell was murdered by a gunshot wound to the back of the head after dancing at the Baltic Room,” the flyer reads.
SPD’s report on the incident was not publicly available as homicide detectives typically put a hold on reports while they investigate, an SPD spokesperson told CHS. Baltic Room management has agreed to speak with CHS about the incident once interviews with SPD detectives are completed.
Sunday’s shooting is the 17th homicide in Seattle this year, according to police. In 2014, 26 people were murdered in the city.
This weekend’s march follows a similar action in June to call for an end to anti-queer violence on Capitol Hill.
Crime trends on Capitol Hill present a mixed message. Most recently, robbery totals ticked up as usual with the summer months but, overall, the number of hold-ups and robberies reported is down vs. 2014. Property crimes including burglaries are up while earlier in the year as newly returned East Precinct commander Capt. Paul McDonagh stepped back into the post, violent crime trends including assaults were headed lower though Pike/Pine businesses were again concerned about rising street crime heading into summer. Meanwhile in 2014, overall crime across Capitol Hill rose powered by jumps in property crimes and assaults.
2015’s summer across the East Precinct as a whole has been particularly violent — and deadly. Just days before the Sunday night shooting across from the Baltic Room, a 24-year-old man was shot and killed at 26th and Columbia. SPD officials announced earlier this summer they are working with federal agencies to quell a wave of gun violence across the East Precinct and the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms revealed its agents had installed surveillance cameras on utility poles in the Central District.
Meanwhile, Goodman’s letter to SPD and city officials posted to CHS has generated an ongoing discussion about crime in the neighborhood including some reasonable analysis, a troll attempt or three, and a few answers.
UPDATE: The most recent SPD SeaStat report shows that non-property crimes including sex assault, robbery, and assault are up 13% so far in 2015 compared to the same time last year in the East Precinct as a whole. Citywide totals show a 3% jump across all precincts including East.