A few months ago, I posted a story about a man who intervened when another man street harassed his wife and then the harasser murdered him. Sadly, I have a new, similar story to share. A man who witnessed another man harassing a woman in Washington, DC, this week intervened, and the harasser murdered him. So devastating.
From the Washington Post:
Bill Mitchell was the kind of man who stepped up instead of shying away, the kind of person who would help someone even if he didn’t know them, his friends and family say.
So on Wednesday night, after he had seen the play “Cymbeline” at the Shakespeare Theatre with his mother, he hopped on the Metro to the New York Avenue Station, walked home along North Capitol Street and Florida Avenue NW and saw a woman who needed help. Mitchell, 33, got involved.
He exchanged words and possibly tussled with an unknown assailant who was hassling the woman and who then shot and killed Mitchell.
“There was some sort of altercation, and we have to figure out what that interaction was,” said D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5), who said he had spoken with police and witnesses. “He may have intervened in something, being a Good Samaritan.”
“We hope that his senseless death can help in some way to make the area he lived in a safer place,” the Mitchell family said in a statement.
Mitchell’s younger brother made a plea for information.
“There may come a time when police ask for the public’s help,” Brian Mitchell said. “Please contact the police if you know anything. It was my brother today. It could be your brother, son, sister, mother or daughter tomorrow.”
I applaud Mitchell for being a good bystander and I’m sad that the incident ended this way 😦 Guns = terrible.
[Thanks to loyal reader MRH for the story tip]
Update: Martha Langelan, author of Back Off!: How to Confront and Stop Sexual Harassment and Harassers, and a brilliant community activist who continues to give workshops in the Washington, DC, area about how to respond to and end sexual harassment just emailed me with her thoughts on this story: