Charges haven’t yet been filed against the shooter but the club’s new owners say they are taking action after last weekend’s early morning shooting outside Capitol Hill nightclub The Baltic Room.
“We are taking this matter very seriously and strive to provide an enjoyable experience while maintaining safety of all patrons, employees, and neighbors,” Rachel Keith told CHS in a statement about last Saturday’s 2 AM shooting that sent two to the hospital. Keith said the club has hired “a few more security guards,” and implemented an earlier last call time.
Keith tells CHS the Baltic was clearing out for the night “when a fight between a few people began in the middle of the street up past Woody’s.”
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“From what I understand, the fight briefly entered the club but was broken up and and removed right away,” she said. “As we begun cleaning up for the night, a few minutes later was when the shooting happened outside. The staff has spoken with detectives, and are helping any way we can.”
CHS reported here on Saturday’s shooting in which two men were taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds.
Police say one of the hospitalized men will be taken into custody as “a convicted felon who is unable to legally possess a handgun” when he is cleared to be released from the hospital. Though two men were hit in the shooting, it’s not clear if there was more than one shooter. SPD said detectives were awaiting results from ballistic test to determine exactly what played out that night on Pine. No charges have been filed against the injured alleged gunman. Police say he has known gang ties.
While there have again been periodic shots fired and driveby incidents across the Central District and Capitol Hill through summer and into the fall, Saturday’s incident marked the first bloodshed in the area from gun violence since a deadly shooting in May at 21st and Union that remains unsolved. On Capitol Hill, a 21-year-old was gunned down in Cal Anderson in another unsolved case.
Shootings near the Baltic Room, meanwhile, have been part of ongoing problems with nightlife crowds in the area — problems many hope will be helped by the elimination of a Pine parking lot to make way for new construction across the street from the club.
In April, a male victim was lucky to suffer only a grazing wound after being shot in the head in a shootout that erupted in the parking lot just before last call on a busy Saturday. The parking lot where the shell casings and evidence were found has been the scene of nightlife gun violence in the past. In the summer of 2015, Ramon Mitchell, 23, was gunned down in a shooting in the same location.
In September, CHS reported on the purchase of The Baltic Room by Keith and Rahsaan Henry and a move to focus the business as a more mainstream “hip hop, top 40s club.” The club also traded hands in early 2018 after longtime owner Jason Brotman decided to part ways with the lower Pike/Pine fixture.
In addition to the security changes, Baltic Room ownership tells CHS it plans to part ways with its Friday night promoter which has been promoting “Finally Fridays” at the club, now billed as “Seattle’s most iconic nightclub.”
Seattle Police’s East Precinct, meanwhile, continues its “nightlife emphasis patrol” staffing strategy that puts more officers in the areas of Capitol Hill’s busy clubs and bars every weekend.
The shooting also comes as ballots are about to drop for the November election. CHS reported here on where the District 3 candidates land on policing and public safety issues.