Pine between Boren and Bellevue remained blocked to traffic and pedestrians into the daylight hours Sunday morning as investigators continued to collect evidence. (Images: CHS)
SPD found a man shot in a parking lot near Melrose and Pine after what police call a “large disturbance” including multiple gunshots early Sunday morning.
Seattle Fire and SPD were called to the scene across from the Baltic Room just after 2 AM after reports of at least 15 shots, and people running and ducking behind cars to avoid the gunfire.
Officers administered CPR to the victim in the parking lot on the north side of Pine and medics transported him to Harborview with life-threatening injuries. Multiple SPD units were called to help deal with the large crowd at the scene. UPDATE 11:57 AM: The victim in the incident did not survive and the shooting is being investigated as a homicide.
Police say officers have located several separate groups of shell casings within 1.5 blocks of the shooting indicating multiple people fired weapons.
Police recovered at least one gun at the scene and witnesses reported physical descriptions of at least two different shooters firing into the air. According to East Precinct radio, a club security guard at the scene also “returned fire” with one shot from the south side of Pine.
Later in the morning, an armed man was taken into custody and his gun was taken into evidence by police near the shooting but it was not believed the suspect was involved in the shooting, according to radio dispatches.
According to East Precinct radio, a 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. The black Suburban vehicle was last seen headed north on Boren.
Police also were investigating a report of around seven shots fired heard near 23rd and Jackson about 45 minutes following the Pine shooting.
It has been a deadly week for gun violence in the city. Thursday night, a 24-year-old man was shot and killed at 26th and Columbia. 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.
Anyone with information in this case is asked to call the Homicide/Assault tip line at (206) 233-5000.
UPDATE 2:00 PM: In a statement, Baltic Room management said the club had asked for “closer supervision” of the parking lot where the shooting occurred.
“While we obviously cannot control situations that happen outside our property, we do realize that we can effect them and have worked closely with the East Precinct police department to not only ensure the neighborhood we’ve called home all these years stays safe, but to be an active part of helping keep it that way,” the statement reads.
The club is owned by Jason Brotman and Rachel Fine, according to state records.
The full statement, posted originally to Facebook, this afternoon is below.
We were as shocked and saddened at last night’s events in the parking lot on the North side of Pine Street as you and the victim, as well as their friends and family are in our thoughts this today.
Baltic Room has been a part of the lower Capitol Hill neighborhood for the better part of eighteen years, in that time playing host to thousands of events, from LGBTQ weddings, to non profit fundraisers, to dance music events of every flavor.
While we obviously cannot control situations that happen outside our property, we do realize that we can effect them and have worked closely with the East Precinct police department to not only ensure the neighborhood we’ve called home all these years stays safe, but to be an active part of helping keep it that way. Along those lines, we have asked many times for there to be closer supervision of that lot, but like you, are at the mercy for an underfunded department who, on a nightly basis, has a very busy swath of territory to cover.
While there is no evidence at this point that the nexus of last night’s event originated at Baltic Room, generally speaking, we have worked very closely with the city, Washington State Liquor Control Board and the nightlife commission, as well as others on numerous ways to ensure that we are providing one of the safest event spaces in the city, up to and including the removal of events and promotion teams we felt were maintaining a nonchalant attitude about the safety of guests and residents of our neighborhood.
We, of course, live and work here too. We are anxious to be better neighbors than we were the day before and want to work with our lower Capitol Hill area family to do so. 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. We welcome you to be a part of that conversation. As one of the anchor businesses in the neighborhood, we take a great of pride in it and in building bridges between neighbors.
We’ll make sure to post an update of our conversation with SPD as soon as we have them. We do appreciate everyone’s frustration, fear, and anger. We know this is an extremely important issue, especially for LCH residents who just want to feel safe in their homes.
Baltic Room Owners and Management
UPDATE 9:00 PM: 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.
The Baltic Room has operated on Pine since 1997.