Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Trinidad Shrine to Melvin Seals

This elaborate - and very new - shrine to Melvin Seals is at the corner of Morse St. & Montello Ave. NE Washington DC, in the Trinidad/Ivy City neighborhood. There were two other killings in one week just blocks from this site, but no other shrines have been erected that I could ascertain.

This is the first time I had seen McDonald's food wrappers and Mike & Ike candy boxes on a shrine. I assume they were among Mr. Seal's favorites.

While I was taking these shots, an ex-girfriend of Mr. Seal's, Trina, came by on a bicycle & taked directly to the shrine, She visits every day. She spoke to me- and to the shrine itself (as though it were alive or listening)"You're not gone."
She had tears in her eyes.

There were several sullen tough young men hanging close nearby. I wondered if they knew- or were- the killer/s.

According to the Washington Post: Metro section B2 5/6/08
"Melvin Seals, 30, was killed April 26. 2008. Police were patrolling just a block away when Seals was shot at 2:00 AM in front of a community center. He was hit 17 times. He recently had graduated from a city program that led to a position with the Department of Public Works."

Dion Johnson, my young protege from Shooting Back and Streets to Skills, has many relatives living nearby. I have been in the neighborhood often, and know a number of residents pretty well - Dion's Aunt Pat and cousin Reyna especially.

Hits home. Hard on the heart.

1 comment:

Jen said...

These are amazing photos and stories.