In wake of triple murder, everyone talks about the future
BAKER - Hazel Mitchell, President of the Baker Civic Club, says since three kids were murdered and a fourth was hospitalized after an incident at her club, the venue is hurting.
"Not financially, our hearts are broken, because of what happened in our city, in our facility that we open up to the public so they can have these birthday parties for kids," Mitchell said during a Baker City Council meeting Tuesday.
Mitchell spoke about the party flier circulating around the city and social media.
"Everyone was made aware of it, yet no one did anything to stop it," said Mitchell. "It was supposed to be a birthday party, even according to the flier it was a birthday party. We have never stopped a birthday party before."
Chief Mike Knapps says he did make an attempt to tell the Baker Civic Club he was concerned about the event and asked the club to consider not having the party. Mitchell says she told Baker Police they could shut down the party if they received a call or complaint. The call came after the shooting happened.
"We can't undo the party, we can fix what we do for the future," said Knapps. "All I can say is we sent that message. We don't have the authority to shut it down, we just asked for consideration."
On Tuesday's agenda, the council was prepared to discuss security for private venues, that discussion was deferred until a meeting is held with the proper authority. Councilman John Givers says any kind of gathering where youth is involved should require some kind of "hardcore security."
Chief Knapps says he knew of only two security guards working at the party. One of which, Donnie Cavalier, was arrested. Police say he fired two shots into the ground to break up the chaos without a permit.
Mitchell says she plans to discuss changes with her board for future events at the club.
"If security is what we need to do then that's what we'll do, whatever we need to do to prevent it," she said. "I feel a uniformed officer, a police officer, would have done a better job than the security that was there."
City leaders also started mapping out a possible curfew for minors in the wake of chaos. Councilman Joyce Burges suggested to change the curfew from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m. for teens 17 and under unless they are "parentally [sic] supervised." The change to the already existing law will be tough to pass because not everyone is in agreement.
"You can put all of the laws on the books you want to, but you cannot legislate morality, it's got to start at the home, it's got to start in the churches," said Councilman Pete Heine.
Pastor Gene Rives of First United Methodist Church arranged a prayer meeting Wednesday at 7 a.m. on South Magnolia at Memory Park for those wishing to come together to stand against the violence.