In 1999, Baltimore's new mayor, Martin O'Malley, publicly complained that in years past, city police had hidden beneath highway overpasses and taken cover to avoid being showered with bullets. He ordered police to confront the gunmen, and on Jan. 1, 2000, he announced that cops had arrested more than 100 people and seized 122 guns the preceding night.
That year - 1999 going into 2000 - 516 Baltimore residents called 911 to report gunfire, 75 of them between 11:55 p.m. and 12:05 a.m. Officers in the Eastern District were hit by remnants of shotgun shells while standing outside their station house. Across town in the Western, police found 300 spent shell casings on a single corner. Someone with a machine gun shot an electrical box and knocked out power to 51 homes. And a bullet crashed through a skylight of a house on North Glover Street.
In 2003, a police officer confronting a holiday reveler was shot in the hip. In 2002, a bullet fired into the air came down and hit a 19-year-old woman in the head as she watched fireworks at the Inner Harbor. One year, a city officer was heard on the radio saying, "In addition to all the gunfire, we have fireworks."