Eight people were shot, leaving one dead, in West Baltimore Sunday evening as police say a man opened fire on a cookout.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said the gunman approached two cookouts at the corner of Edmondson and Whitmore avenues and began firing indiscriminately into the crowd, striking several men and women. Officers were called to the scene at 5:03 p.m., the department wrote in a news release.
Harrison said that one man ran toward the Perkins Square Baptist Church and later died. On May 1, police officials identified the victim who died as 28-year-old Derrell Briscoe. Six of the injured victims — a 58-year-old man, a 51-year-old man, a 30-year-old man, a 29-year-old man, a 27-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman — were taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.
A police spokeswoman later said an eighth victim, an adult man, walked into a hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg.
Harrison added there was evidence to suggest someone shot back, but officers were still piecing together the events.
“At this time suspect information and motive is unknown to investigators,” police said in a release Sunday night.
Police identified the shooter only as a black man. Officials made no reference to a suspected shooter being a white man in a white t-shirt and blue jeans, effectively contradicting the swirl of rumors that spread across social media following the shooting.
While the shooting was near two churches — Perkins Square and Doswell Cathedral on Doswell Avenue — Harrison said the shooting did not have any connection to planned events at the two locations.
Acting Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young again called on the city’s residents to step up with any information they may have as to the suspect or motive behind the shooting.
“People know who’s doing these shootings and who is targeting these people,” Young said.
Officers established a crime scene around the 2500 block of Edmondson Ave. in the city’s Western District shortly after 5 p.m., a police spokeswoman said.
At the crime scene, bullet casing were scattered on the ground near grills and a table with items that still appeared to be left over from the afternoon cookout.
People peering out of their houses to look at the investigation were juxtaposed against the images of older residents in their Sunday best going to the nearby Doswell Cathedral.
Harrison called the shooting “very cowardly” and said the shooting “appears to be extremely targeted.”
He added the department had “a very robust deployment strategy” this weekend and will continue to look for witnesses to speak because “many people were out here” during the shooting.