BALTIMORE (WJZ) — City officials are speaking about a wave of shootings that have injured more than 50 people in the past ten days.
“Violence in the city—murders in the city—is something that troubles me deeply like it should trouble you and anybody else in the city of Baltimore,” Mayor Jack Young said at a press conference Wednesday morning.
Some of the recent incidents include the killing of a 22-year-old man on Hollins Street in Southwest Baltimore.
Bullet-riddled car on Hollins St in Baltimore where a young man was shot and killed yesterday; his family declined comment @wjz pic.twitter.com/QNjskY4YoL
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) September 16, 2020
Bullet markers show the more than 25 bullets fired at the scene. A neighbor who asked not to be identified said she heard the barrage of gunfire and saw the young man in the street.
“People ducked for cover. My nerves are still shot,” she said. “I have been in this block for more than 30 years, and I’m ready to leave.”
A 14-year-old was shot to death in Northeast Baltimore on Friday. His mother spoke to WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren.
On Sunday, 39-year-old Melvin Thompson was killed in Federal Hill Park.
The commissioner says that is one of several shootings linked to dice games and illegal gambling.
“We believe the victim was somehow engaged with people who were participating with a dice game that lead to a shooting and murder. Those are things we’re working on. We need information about those dice games. When people see them, please call us and tell us,” Commissioner Michael Harrison said.
City police also made a video urging people to report dice games. You can read more about their campaign here.
Commissioner Harrison also stressed the partnerships with state and federal authorities. “The police department is constantly adjusting our deployment strategies to make sure officers are in place and where they’re supposed to be based on data—and that is happening.”
We are continuing to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate crimes and arrest the individuals responsible for violence in our city. Help us end gun violence by submitting tips to 1-888-ATF-TIPS or ATFtips@atf.gov. You may be eligible for a reward of up to $20,000. pic.twitter.com/R26FoiE3Pw
— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) September 16, 2020
Governor Hogan is so concerned about the violence, he met with the mayor and police commissioner in Baltimore Wednesday.
Earlier today, I met with @mayorbcyoung and Commissioner Harrison to discuss the ongoing violent crime crisis in Baltimore City. There can be no more excuses and no more delays—we need to attack this crisis from all sides so that we can finally put an end to the bloodshed. pic.twitter.com/oMrw3vFSqJ
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) September 16, 2020
Hogan criticized city leadership earlier in an interview with WBAL Newsradio 1090-FM 101.5.
“We’re going to have to get leaders in the city. It comes from the mayor, the police commissioner, the state’s attorney. Everybody is going to have to do a better job because this is completely unacceptable,“ the governor told the radio station.
He said recent violence is tied to gangs and retaliation.
“We’ve now had 1,827 people murdered in Baltimore city since Freddie Gray, and I want to know where is the outrage from the city—from the residents of the city of the city—to say ‘enough is enough.’ I mean these Black lives matter.“
Hogan also criticized Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby and called for lawmakers to pass legislation that toughens punishments for repeat violent offenders.
“The vast majority of people are murdering people and continuing to do so, and you have repeat violent offenders who shoot people with no consequences—and they don’t do time,” he said.
The number of non-fatal shootings and homicides in the city is down slightly compared to this time last year.