Duluth shouldn't shrug off deadly shooting incident as 'isolated': our view
Gunshots shattered an otherwise typically tranquil Saturday evening in Duluth this weekend. But they weren't part of any "random crime," police were quick to assure the public. The violence was "isolated," with "specific" people involved and part...
Gunshots shattered an otherwise typically tranquil Saturday evening in Duluth this weekend.
But they weren't part of any "random crime," police were quick to assure the public. The violence was "isolated," with "specific" people involved and part of a "drug deal [that] went wrong," to quote from news coverage.
Also, the incident happened in an area near downtown where crime wouldn't be considered uncommon.
So no big deal?
Of course it is. Criminal violence has long plagued cities across the nation, and the shootings Saturday were reminders that Duluth, while not as violent as most major metro areas, is still far from immune from senseless killings and other acts that can leave anyone feeling less than perfectly safe.
The incident was being investigated as Duluth's first homicide of the year -- which, of course, is one too many. One of the three men involved died while in surgery for his injuries. Another man remained hospitalized and the third was treated and released. No one was in custody and no arrests were made, but police also weren't seeking additional suspects.
That the same couldn't be said in a Philadelphia homicide case yesterday was coincidental. There, a shooter remained at large in the death of a young Minnesota native named Beau Zabel. The 23-year-old Starbucks employee, who moved in May from Austin to the City of Brotherly Love to teach math to inner-city kids, was walking home from work early Sunday when he was shot in the neck, apparently for his iPod. The slaying was the 142nd this year in Philly -- which, of course, is 142 too many.
"That area is not so bad," a Philadelphia police officer said of where Zabel was killed, according to a news report.
In Duluth, a similar sentiment was echoed by a man living in an apartment at 227 W. Third St., where Saturday's shootings took place. "It's still a good neighborhood," Vincent Hladilek told the News Tribune. "I don't feel any less safe."
Added Duluth Police Lt. Scott Drewlo in a statement released late yesterday afternoon: "The general public is at no greater safety risk now than they normally would be because of this incident."
As reassuring as the words are, and as important as they are to hear, no community can shrug off or dismiss violent acts -- no matter who's involved, where they happen or under what circumstances. Each can be considered disturbing and troubling -- and each demands a community's attention.