Seated on the stoop of a rowhouse painted with a large mural of Freddie Gray, Jae Coates, 63, shook her head Monday at the latest incident to bring police to the neighborhood: a man shot dead in broad daylight.
Baltimore City Public Schools are on Spring Break this week, and the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood in West Baltimore was filled with children playing outside. Some shot hoops in a public housing courtyard just feet from where detectives put down yellow evidence markers on the bloodstained sidewalk.
"When you got the young babies out here? That's ridiculous," Coates said of the shooting at Gilmor Homes. "Any one of them could have been hurt. Thank God they weren't."
Police said officers responded to the 1600 block of Mount Street about 12:15 p.m. and found a man shot in the chest. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Homicide detectives took control of the scene.
On Tuesday, police identified the man as 40-year-old Corey Earl Brown of the 1600 block of Bruce Court.
Freddie Gray, 25, died from injuries suffered in police custody after he was arrested in this same block almost two years ago, on April 12, 2015. His death was followed by protests, as captured in the mural, as well as rioting. The city then had its two worst years on record in terms of killings — the homicide rate soaring to an all-time high.
This year is on pace to be just as bad, if not worse. Monday's shooting marked the 86th homicide of 2017 — a blistering pace.
"I'm just tired of it. It's a shame these young boys keep dying like this," said Kelvin Parker, 58, of the violence.
Harold Perry, 75, sat on the stoop with Coates. He gave permission to the artist Nether to paint the mural on his home. He said the violence hasn't been so bad in the neighborhood recently, but always lurks just below the surface. The potential is always there.
"The crime is ever-present," he said. "It doesn't raise it's head until something like this happens."
A woman walked by crying in the courtyard across the street. At a gap in the buildings, she looked down the sidewalk into the street and saw detectives and technicians processing the shooting scene.
She sobbed. A loved one she leaned on indicated they didn't want to talk. They kept moving.
A technician threw a hat left on an electric box into a bag, then a sweatshirt, too. More notes were written into more detectives' notepads.
Others in the neighborhood said they didn't want to talk, either. They just want to get out of the neighborhood, they said. They just have to get out, they said.
Around 2:30 p.m., a 19-year-old man was also shot and wounded in Northwest Baltimore. The man was found in the 5300 block of Nelson Avenue in the Glenmore Park neighborhood and was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
Police said they have a person of interest in custody in that shooting case.
Police also released the names of four recent homicide victims: Darian Watson, 27, of the 5500 block of Bucknell Road was killed April 9 in the 6100 block of Plantview Way; Tyrone McMillian, 30, of the 2800 block of 5th Street was killed in the 1200 block of West North Avenue on April 9; and Maurice Walker, 27, of the 200 block of North Hilton Street and Douglas Holt, 36, of the 3200 block of Vulcan Road were killed in the 200 block of Pearl Street on April 8
Detectives are asking anyone with information to call 410-396-2100, text a tip to 443-902-4824, or call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCK-UP.