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Midtown shooting death sparks response from neighbors

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After the shooting death of a 32-year old man Friday night near 28th and J streets, Midtown residents are responding with a protest of an alcohol license, and pleas for Mayor Kevin Johnson to act.

“This issue has not yet been dealt with a long-term sustainable manner and now someone has died from gun violence,” George Raya and Julie Murphy wrote in a press release from the Marshall School/New Era Neighborhood Association. [See the full text of the press release below]

Sacramento County Coroner identified Friday’s shooting victim as Joseph A. Long of Carmichael. Long was a bystander and not involved in the incident, according to police.

“One of my close friends that made an incredible difference in my life was senselessly shot last night,” wrote Christian Freed on a SacPress article about the shooting. “No need to throw blames or angry words. We loved him, he will be missed with all our hearts.”

[Editor’s note: Attempts to contact Freed to verify his identity have so far proven unsuccessful]

In response to the shooting, Raya and Murphy called on Johnson to focus public safety resources on identifying the causes of violence in the area, and to act to “bring a sense of safety and security back to our neighborhood,” the release stated.

According to Sutter District security logs, the release states, there has been an escalation of violence in the area in recent months, including a 20-person fight June 8, a 17-person melee July 13 and a day-time assault that occurred at Marshall Park Aug. 13.

To some, there is a need for increasing police presence – but others disagree that the answer is more police on the streets.

“A greater police presence could not have kept this from happening,” Freed commented on the Sac Press article. “No amount of throwing blame around will bring our dear friend back.”

The shooting, which occurred near a Midtown block of popular bars and restaurants, spurred at least one Midtown resident to make plans to file a protest against the proposed alcohol license transfer for Harlow’s Nightclub, one of several clubs located on the 2800 block of J Street.

Midtown resident Vito Sgromo said in an email that he and other neighbors were filing protests with ABC officials due to the increased crime near that location.

“I hope I can count on Sac Police support due to the increased crime in this location,” Sgromo wrote in the email.

The police investigation is still under way, and no arrests have been made.

Press release: Marshall School/New Era Park Neighborhood Association

Our neighborhood association extends our condolences to the family and friends of the unidentified Sutter District shooting victim. Residents are shocked and alarmed by the senseless death of an innocent bystander due to the gunfight between two groups near 28th and J Streets. Escalating violence in the Sutter District of Midtown has become an increasing concern of residents in the area.

We call upon Mayor Kevin Johnson focus the public safety resources necessary to identify the causes of the violence in our neighborhood and bring a sense of safety and security back to our neighborhood.

This issue has not yet been dealt with a long-term sustainable manner and now someone has died from gun violence. According to Sutter District security logs, there has been a escalation of violence on this area in recent months. There was a 20-person fight on June 8 and a 17-person melee on July 13. In addition, there was an day-time assault at Marshall Park on August 13. We have been working with Sacramento Police, city park rangers, and business owners to address ensure the safety of residents and visitors to the Sutter District but additional resources are needed.

This violence must end in our neighborhood and in our community.
George Raya & Julie Murphy
Marshall School/New Era Neighborhood Association

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Melissa Corker is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @MelissaCorker.

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