The city of Baltimore saw a bloody Memorial Day weekend, with a total of 29 people being shot, including nine who died, as the city scrambles to deal with its deadliest month since 1999.
The Baltimore Sun reported that one of those injured was a 9-year-old in West Baltimore who was shot in the leg Monday night. Another man nearby suffered a bullet graze to his head, police told the paper. Two victims in separate shootings suffered fatal gunshot wounds that pushed the number of homicides to 35 for May. A total of 108 have been killed in the city this year, The Sun reported.
WBAL-TV reports a man and woman were shot in a car around 12:30 a.m. Monday. Both were taken to the hospital where the man died. Officers responded to another report of a shooting around 1:43 a.m. Monday. A man died at the hospital. Another man was shot and killed Sunday afternoon. None of those shooting victims have been identified.
"The shootings and killings are all over the city. I don't think any part of the city is immune to this," William "Pete" Welch, a city councilman, told The Sun. "I’ve never seen anything like this."
The city, which has seen its population fall about 35 percent since the 1950s, has found itself in the forefront of the national debate on policing in minority communities after the case of Freddie Gray, whose death has led to the arrests of several Baltimore police officers.
Gray suffered a critical spinal injury April 12 after police handcuffed, shackled and placed him head-first into a van, prosecutors said. His pleas for medical attention were repeatedly ignored, it is alleged.
"It was an earthquake kind of time and I think we're still dealing with the aftershock," Mary Pat Clarke, a councilwoman, told CBS Baltimore.
Some suggest police in the city, discouraged with the Gray indictments of six officers, may be staging a slowdown in protest, while others say the cops find themselves in a precarious position and may be hesitant to intervene in violent crimes.
"Of course it makes me scared," one resident in West Baltimore, who heard gunshots, told The Sun. "I started praying. I didn't move. ... The drugs have escalated in this block in the last six months. With this new drug element in the block — oh, Lord."
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Sunday met with the police commissioner to discuss the crime issue, The Sun reported. Her spokesman said, "She is confident that the steps being taken by the Police Department will quell this latest uptick in violence."