A gunman opened fire outside a convenience store in Northwest Baltimore on Wednesday evening, killing two people and wounding four, police said.
The victims were shot about 6 p.m. as they were standing in front of a Stop 1 convenience store near the busy area of Duvall Avenue and Garrison Boulevard. Police believe there was just one gunman, who ran away along Edgewood Street.
Police spokesman T.J. Smith said the shooting is believed to be tied to another homicide that took place nearby in the last few days, likely as an act of retaliation. The most recent reported killing in the area was of Jacob Hayes, 22, who was shot inside a nearby home in the 4000 block of Duvall Ave. on Saturday and died at a hospital.
Smith called the violence – which came amid other shootings in other parts of the city on Wednesday – "ridiculous" and called on families to prevent more of it.
"I have to make a plea to families once again," he said. "You know if your child, you know if your boyfriend, your baby's father, your husband, your cousin, your brother is up to no good, you need to get him before these streets get him. You have to. If you want us to knock at your door, let them keep doing what they're doing."
Appearing frustrated, Smith continued.
"We're going to continue having to knock on your door, we're going to continue to have to get RIP shirts. We're going to put some more balloons up. We're going to throw some more hashtags on social media. And then we're going to do it all over again."
A man's body could be seen slumped in a corner outside the store shortly after the shooting, as at least a half-dozen bullet casings covered by evidence markers lay scattered nearby. Police ultimately covered the man's body from view as they took pictures of the crime scene and waited for the medical examiner to arrive.
Edward Speed, who lives nearby, said he was shaving in his bathroom when he heard the shots in quick succession.
"I thought it was right outside my door," Speed said. "I hit the floor. Turned my bathroom light off, and the police came."
He added: "It's ridiculous, it really is. Senseless killings. It's genocide."
Another man who lives nearby, who declined to give his name for fear of retaliation, said he grew up in the area and remembered many shootings and memorials near the convenience store.
"I see shrines over here," he said. "They're just killing each other over here."
He predicted more violence. "Whoever killed him — sorry, God rest his soul — they going to try to find out who killed him, and that person is going to die. It's a crazy cycle, and it has to end."
A second victim was pronounced dead at a hospital. One man was in critical condition, while two men and a woman suffered wounds that were not deemed life-threatening.
Smith said the only description police had of the suspect was a man in a hooded sweatshirt. Police had no witnesses and asked anyone with information to call 410-396-2100.
Smith said police often see a "revolving door" of crime in cases like these. "That's how we're able to link these things together so quickly. We're dealing with people we're familiar with and we know the streets are familiar with."
One other man was killed and two were critically injured in East Baltimore on Wednesday in separate incidents. A 27-year-old man was shot to death at about 8:50 a.m. in the 900 block of N. Broadway St., police said. A 41-year-old man was found around 3:20 p.m. in the 1400 block of E. Preston St. Homicide detectives are investigating due the severity of his injuries.
The other 29-year-old man took himself to the hospital around 5 p.m. with a gunshot wound to the neck after being shot in the 1400 block of N. Patterson Park Avenue earlier. He is expected to survive.