Two teen youths and an auto repair shop owner are among the latest victims in a city where people are being killed at an unprecedented pace.
The deaths of Tyrese Davis, 15, who was shot during a West Baltimore robbery; George Madariaga, 69, shot under unclear circumstances in Northwest Baltimore; an unidentified 16-year-old youth shot in Northeast Baltimore; and an unidentified 24-year-old man shot in North Baltimore pushed the city’s homicide total this year to 216 — a record high for mid-August.
The killings took place less than a week after a 72-hour ceasefire effort in which community activists rallied for a weekend free of violence. Organizers said the campaign was a success, and police praised the three-day weekend effort even though six people were shot, two fatally.
But Friday, after a violent 24 hours, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis expressed frustration at an afternoon news conference where police detailed a spate of six shootings since Thursday.
Davis said it’s difficult for the department to keep up during such eruptions of violence, even when officers are strategically deployed to high-crime areas.
“Our deployment last night on the west side of the city was extremely heavy, and we still had violence on the west side of the city,” Davis said.
Baltimore violence has gone on mostly unabated this year. Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh took steps to address it this week, naming a new director of criminal justice and releasing an updated plan to stem violent crime. In announcing the plan, Pugh noted that her administration has put more officers on patrol and worked to improve police training and technology. She also said engaging youth, promoting community health and creating more jobs would help reduce violence.
Gov. Larry Hogan, meanwhile, said he plans to meet with Baltimore judges, prosecutors and politicians to discuss why violent offenders aren’t being held in jail longer.
Meanwhile, the violence continues.
Tyrese Davis of the 2100 block of W. Fayette St., died Friday after being shot early Tuesday morning in the 1600 block of W. Franklin St. in the city’s Harlem Park neighborhood. Police said a preliminary investigation revealed that he was walking home with his 19-year-old brother when “they were approached by unidentified suspects armed with a gun” who “announced a robbery, then shot” Davis in the forehead.
Davis’ family could not be reached for comment on Friday.
Among the three people killed in the most recent shootings was Madariaga.
Police found Madariaga, of the 100 block of Camp Springs Court in Owings Mills, shot in the upper body about 7:57 a.m. Thursday after responding to a report of a shooting in the 5100 block of Linden Heights Ave. in the city’s Langston Hughes neighborhood. They said that he was found near an auto repair shop he owned and that workers said they saw him in a dispute with an unknown man before the shooting.
State business records show Madariaga was the owner of Nino’s Auto in the 5200 block of Fairlawn Ave., less than a third of a mile from where he was found shot.
Madariaga, a native of Colombia who moved to the United States when he was 18, had been in Baltimore about six or seven years, according to his brother, Eddie Madariaga. He was a father and a “workaholic” who was “completely dedicated” to his work at the auto repair shop, his brother said. He was “not the type of person you would expect would have enemies.”
“He was always known wherever he was, because he would make jokes with the people around,” his brother said. The family is desperate for answers about what happened, he said.
The 16-year-old youth killed in Northeast Baltimore Friday morning was found by officers about 12:57 a.m. in the 4100 block of Chesterfield Ave., in the city’s Belair-Edison neighborhood. Police said he “refused to give the officers any information as to who shot him” before he was taken to an area hospital, where he died. They had not identified him as of Friday afternoon, pending notification of his family.
The man found shot in North Baltimore was located by police about 5:26 a.m. Friday in the 5000 block of York Road in the city’s Radnor-Winston neighborhood, police said. Police said a preliminary investigation revealed that the victim was riding his bike on the block when he was shot by an unknown gunman. The 24-year-old was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The previous evening, officers responded to the 2000 block of Penrose Ave., where they found a 25-year-old man at 5:22 p.m. who had been shot in the arm and leg. Police believe the shooting was an attempted armed robbery.
Three hours later, officers responded to the 2500 block of W. Lafayette Ave. for a double shooting. There, police said, they found a 23-year-old man with multiple gunshot wounds and an 18-year-old who was shot in the head. Both victims, who are alive, were holding weapons. Police said they are seeking charges on both for illegally possessing handguns.
Police said another man was shot in the intersection of South Franklintown Road and Boyd Street about 8:31 p.m, and was found in a car in the Westside Shopping Center. Police said the victim was on probation at the time and also had a criminal record.
Police said they had evidence that another shooting victim — a 23-year-old man who approached officers in the 3800 block of Liberty Heights Avenue at about 9:19 p.m. Thursday — had shot himself.
All of these incidents remain under investigation. Davis said detectives don’t know whether any of the shootings were connected.
Anyone with information about the shootings is asked to call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100, text a tip to 443-902-4824, or call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCK-UP.
Through Aug. 5, the most recent date through which citywide crime data is available, homicides were up 19 percent over the same time last year. Total shootings were up 3 percent. Robberies were up 16 percent, aggravated assaults were up 18 percent, and burglaries were up 9 percent.
The killings of Davis and Madariaga within days of each other are indicative of the broad range in the ages of victims in the city this year.
The youngest victim, found with injuries all over his body, was a 5-month-old boy named Emmanuel Johnson, whose father was charged in his death.
The oldest victim was Waddell Tate, 97, found dead from blunt force trauma in his longtime home in East Baltimore last month.