A spate of shootings that Police Commissioner Kevin Davis described today as “an unconscionable amount of violence” unfolded in the last 24 hours around Baltimore, leading the department to ramp up patrols with 12-hour minimum shifts for officers and detectives.
During a press conference today, the commissioner told reporters police have no other option than to address the city’s seemingly worsening problem with gun violence. “There’s nowhere for us to run. There’s nowhere for us to hide,” a visibly frustrated Davis said.
His remarks followed a series of shootings that left six dead and two wounded between 8 p.m. Monday night and Tuesday morning. Within the hour after Davis was done speaking, another multiple shooting unfolded in Southwest Baltimore, bring the tally of victims up to 12.
The incidents began at 8:20 p.m. Monday night, when a man was fatally shot on Mount Holly Street in Southwest Baltimore. Two hours later, a 37-year-old woman was shot and killed on Gertrude Street in the same section of the city, and a 28-year-old man was fatally shot almost simultaneously on S. Bentalou Street in West Baltimore.
Five hours afterward, a man was shot dead near the Canton waterfront on Boston Street. Then, within an hour, four people who shot at once, two fatally, on Bonaparte Avenue in East Baltimore.
Today, just before 1:30 p.m., four more people were wounded in another quadruple shooting on Ayrdale Avenue in Northwest Baltimore.
Davis said he “expect[s] people to be upset. I expect people to want a better Baltimore.”
He blamed several factors, among them “guns, gangs and drugs” and a lack of guilty verdicts that put gun-toting defendants back on the streets. He also said the shooters in these cases “lack a conscience, they lack a heart, they lack a soul.”
The police department is now ramping up patrols, assigning its officers and detectives to mandatory minimum 12-hour shifts through at least next weekend. Police will also be putting more officers on foot patrols to assigning administrative personnel and special details to go out in the field to put them closer to the community.
All of this violence has piled onto a terrible weekend for the city in which 14 people were shot, one fatally. The city’s homicide count now stands at 159 with a little more than two weeks to go before we reach the halfway mark of 2017.
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