Last Sunday night, we finished up our tour in New Haven, CT. on Bassett St. @ a house called The Cookie Jar. We met and hung out with the residents, Emily, Andy, and Mitchell Dubey who all cooked for the bands and went out of their way to be beyond accommodating. Mitchell even made us coffee before our set and stood around chatting with us after the show.
Today, it came to our attention that on Thursday night, someone knocked on the door of the Cookie Jar house, forced entry, and fatally shot Mitchell in the chest. As reported, all his roommates were in the house at the time. The person who shot Mitchell has not been apprehended or identified.
Since learning of it earlier in the day, we've all had a tough time wrapping our heads around this. There are many people who are dealing with this senseless tragedy in their own, much deeper way right now. But to know that a life was taken from someone so upbeat, enthusiastic, and generous, whose house we stood in less than a week prior, is something that I'm kind of at a lose of words for. To have shared a fleeting moment, that in hindsight was completely taken for granted at the time, is something too big to comprehend. Mitchell was another in the line of intelligent and inspiring people we've come across in our travels. Someone that you look forward to meeting up with in a couple months when you hope you'll pass through again, never once thinking something like this could happen. Especially, something of this magnitude at their own home that extends kind, helping hands for traveling bands, artists, and friends. Mitchell and his roommates supported others to do what they loved to do. And now that's all changed.
It's something that we like to think can't happen to us in this word. I believe there's a permeating feeling that whatever subculture we've dug for ourselves is ours, and impenetrable by such bullshit. Today was a painful reminder it can all be brought down to earth. The clubhouse isn't shut off from everything. It's comforting knowing that such places exist in the punk/DIY community (or whatever subtext punk falls under), where people can go to be themselves, see bands, talk about new ideas, or shot the shit while outside the rest of the world is going apeshit. It rarely crosses our minds that such tragedy could enter into this circle.
As we were about to head back to NJ on Sunday, I asked Emily at the Cookie Jar house if they usually have a noise curfew. She said they'd let bands play past 10 PM several times but it wasn't a big issue as the cops had better things to worry about in the area. To paraphrase "It's kind of a bad area. But that's the price we pay to have this show house." Hearing this in my head repeatedly today has sent chills down my spine. If only there was something that could have been done to prevent this.
Our thoughts go out to Mitchell's family and friends, and to Emily and Andy from the Cookie Jar house. Please keep an eye out for any possible donations online or in the news to the his family and friends in the days to come.
You can read more about the incident here: http://newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/bike_enthusiast_shot_dead/