Quintuple shooting continues surge in Baltimore violence

Violence continues in Baltimore, where two more were killed by gunfire overnight, police said.

A man with a gunshot wound to his arm fled into a home in East Baltimore with four children inside, where he barricaded himself as scores of rifle-toting SWAT officers surrounded the house Wednesday afternoon.

The man, a person of interest in the shooting of five people Wednesday afternoon, surrendered hours later and the children were unharmed. One man was killed in the quintuple shooting, another outburst of violence amid a staggering wave of shootings in the city.

Two suspects were arrested after officers spotted a man firing a gun, Maj. Osborne Robinson III said.

Neighbor Briana Redd called the scene "crazy."

"It shouldn't be going on," she said. "It's broad daylight. There's so many children, getting out of school, day care."

At least 19 people were shot across the city Tuesday and Wednesday, three of them fatally.

Two homicides occurred in the city's Western District, which has seen much of the uptick in violence following the death of Freddie Gray. The Western District has counted 22 homicides this year, surpassing last year's 12-month total of 21.

One homicide came just after 2 a.m. Wednesday in the 800 block of W. Saratoga St. in the Poppleton neighborhood. Officers found a man suffering from a gunshot wound to his abdomen. He was taken to an area hospital where he later died.

Just hours before, police were called to a double shooting in the 500 block of N. Pulaski St. in the Midtown-Edmondson neighborhood. A man, shot several times, died Wednesday morning at an area hospital, police said; a woman who had been shot in the back was in critical condition.

Homicide detectives asked anyone with information to call 410-396-2100.

Nonfatal shootings were reported in the 2000 block of Jefferson St., the 2300 block of W. Lafayette Ave., the 900 block of N. Caroline St., and the 1200 block of E. Madison St.

A gunshot victim walked into a hospital in the Southwestern District, police said. The location of the shooting was not immediately known.

The quintuple shooting occurred around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday. Robinson, the police major, said officers were in the area of North Kenwood Avenue and East Monument Street when they heard gunshots and spotted a man firing a weapon.

That man was taken into custody, and a second suspect was caught after a chase through an alley.

A car at the scene sped off and crashed as officers approached, and the occupants got out and ran, police said.

One of them ran into the home in the 800 block of N. Linwood Avenue, barricading himself inside for hours before surrendering at about 6:15 p.m. Police said it is unclear whether he had any connection to the home; neighbors said they did not recognize him.

Alex Long and Mack Jones, who work with the Rose Street Community Center, said they heard shots and helped a woman with children get to safety. They lamented the violence.

"People are losing their lives, and it's all for nothing," Long said.

A car with bullet holes could be seen behind police tape on East Monument Street; blood pooled on Milton Avenue. A man was lying on the ground, a bullet wound to his side, on North Kenwood Avenue.

At the barricade scene, heavily armed police pulled a woman and small child out of a home. Police said they had found two guns in a vehicle nearby that they believed to be involved.

Some have wondered whether a police "slowdown" — a refusal by some officers to work aggressively since the unrest that followed Gray's death — might be a factor in recent uptick in shootings.

Police Commission Anthony W. Batts told reporters Wednesday that officers trying to investigate violence in the Western District have been surrounded by crowds of hostile, cellphone video-recording residents.

City Councilman Warren Branch stood on Linwood Street observing the police activity. He said the Eastern District has seen reductions in violence overall this year.

"If the Baltimore Police Department leaves the city, I'm leaving with them," Branch said. "I think we need each other."

Baltimore Sun reporter Colin Campbell contributed to this article.

jkanderson@baltsun.com

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