Seattle Police detectives are seeking help in their investigation into a Capitol Hill gunfight outside The Baltic Room that left one man dead early Sunday morning.
SPD has not yet released a suspect description and officials have not yet confirmed the identity of the victim.
A Seattle Times staffer reported that the victim was the son of Ritchie “OG Ratt” Williams — a member of Seattle’s Hoover Crips who was fatally shot in 2013. Posts on social media memorializing “Monie Ratt” appeared in the hours following the shooting Sunday.
UPDATE 8/18/2015 3:10 PM: Officials have identified the victim as Ramon Mitchell, 23. A fundraiser has been set up to help cover his funeral expenses:
In Loving Memory Of Ramon Mitchell
Ramon Mitchell /monie however you known him we all know he was loving person and loved by his family.
On August 16,2015 monie was at a club in capital hill when senseless shots rang out and out of 30 shots Ramon was the only person who was shot and killed.
Monie was the kind of person who was a leader, a friend,loving father to his only baby girl and a goal getter. Monie was taken away way to early from all of his family for no reason. Our family is asking for all caring hearts to donate what you can to support us threw this diffitcult time all donations will be used towards the cost for the funeral no other accounts should be donated to other than this account.
Mitchell, unable to own a gun because of a past robbery conviction, was convicted for unlawful possession of a firearm after his arrest in 2014 during the investigation of a South Seattle burglary. He was sentenced to a year in jail that was scheduled to end in June.
Original report: As of Monday, 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.
Sunday’s shooting is the 17th homicide in Seattle this year, according to SPD.
SPD responded to reports of at least 15 gunshots early Sunday morning outside the Baltic Room at Pine and Melrose. A man was found shot in the parking lot at Pine and Boren and died of his injuries after being transported to Harborview Medical Center. Arriving officers administered CPR to the victim until the area was secure enough for Seattle Fire medic units to respond.
Police worked to interview witnesses in a crowd of around 100 people in the area as the shooting took place. Shell casings from multiple shooters were found around the intersection of Melrose and Pine. The shooting was first reported just after 2 AM. 911 callers reported ducking behind cars in the area to avoid the gunfire.
According to East Precinct radio, another 911 caller reported that the occupants of a vehicle pulled a gun after a hit and run at Boren and Pine around the time of the shooting.
During the melee, a club security guard at the scene “returned fire” with one shot from the south side of Pine. The Baltic Room management explained in a Facebook post that the security guard was not carrying a weapon while working, but had a gun in his car nearby.
The security person in question has all appropriate licensing including a conceal / carry permit. Per WA state law, he was NOT carrying his weapon on him while working at the venue, but did have one in his vehicle which was parked about 15 feet away. He has spoken to East Precinct officers who arrived at the location of the incident (across the street) and was quickly cleared by SPD.
Bar owners and their employees are allowed to carry firearms inside their establishments but are still subject to firearm regulations, a liquor board spokesperson told CHS. State law prohibits the general public from carrying weapons inside bars. Most security guards with the proper permit are also allowed to carry firearms in Washington state.
Sunday’s murder followed a shooting last Thursday night in which a 24-year-old man was killed at 26th and Columbia. UPDATE 8/18/2015 10:52 AM: The victim in the Central District slaying has been identified as Antonio Jones.
SPD officials revealed earlier this summer they are working with federal agencies to quell a wave of gun violence across the East Precinct. Last week, the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms its agents had installed surveillance cameras on utility poles in the Central District. Meanwhile, Saturday night was the second in August’s pilot of a pedestrian zone safety program closing E Pike between Broadway and 12th to traffic.
Nightlife violence on Capitol Hill, of course, isn’t new — though it is rarely deadly. In January 2008, Maurice “Moe” Allen Jr., 25, was shot and killed outside the Baltic Room in a case that remains unsolved but is believed to have gang ties.
In January 2009, the hip-hop artist Joseph Ryan, known as 29-E, died in a shooting at Chop Suey. The 24-year-old was caught in the crossfire of a dispute involving other men. Carlos Bernardez, 18 at the time of the shooting, pleaded guilty to first degree murder.
Some venues in the city, including Chop Suey, have stopped booking hip hop and rap artists after fights or shootings were perceived to be linked to their shows.
Social media posts following the killing voiced remorse about the recent string of shootings and the risk of losing more hip hop shows in the city due to their perceived danger.
The Baltic Room has operated on Pine since 1997 and is owned by Jason Brotman and Rachel Fine. Management at the club has not responded to CHS’s requests for more information about the shooting but a statement posted to the club’s Facebook page said management was planning to work with authorities to improve safety in the area. “We’ll be pro actively engaging in a dialogue with SPD about the event, what led up to it, and what our team can do to better spot and intervene in these types of tragedies outside our property, before they occur,” the statement reads.
Detectives, in the meantime, are continuing to interview witnesses and collect evidence. Monday afternoon, police were trying to determine how best to preserve evidence after a slug was found in the body panel of a car that had been parked at the scene the night of the shooting. Anyone with information about Sunday’s incident is asked to call SPD’s homicide/assault tip line at (206) 233-5000.
I don't think I'll be out in these Seattle streets for a minute.
— Dj Wavy (@Linds4_) August 16, 2015
Looks like Seattle is gonna lose all their nightlife…
— (Dj)…Vega… (@VegaTheVirgo) August 16, 2015
Dawg wtf is doing on in Seattle. It's sounding like the early 2000's all over again. It ain't worth it
— Saucy Mike (@Mr_OPM206) August 16, 2015
It's a shame you can't have a good time in Seattle .. The promoters do a good job of putting shit together for you guys to fuck it up…
— Elmer Fudd (@_Shiny3) August 16, 2015