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Baltimore leaders trying to get a handle on a violent week that has seen 10 shot to death, and another 14 injured

The week was barely three hours old when shots were fired after a fight broke out during a large house party in Baltimore’s west side. Sunday at 3:14 a.m. police were called to an area hospital to find one of those party goers, a 30-year-old man who had been shot in the abdomen. He survived.

The shooting kicked off a violent week that, as of Friday afternoon, has recorded 10 people killed by gun fire and another 14 people who were shot in 10 separate incidents, Baltimore police said.

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The violence was not limited to any one part of the city, with shootings in South Clifton Park, Poppleton, Carrollton Ridge, Coppin Heights and the Arlington neighborhoods.

So far this year there have been 83 homicides in Baltimore, eight more killings than this same time last year and 11 more than 2019, which was among the deadliest years, per capita, in city history. Non-fatal shootings are also up, with the 152 recorded so far being seven more than there were at this time last year, according to Baltimore police data.

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Baltimore City Councilwoman Sharon Middleton said one homicide in the North Baltimore’s Parklane neighborhood targeted an unidentified male on Monday. Two more men were killed on that same day, just hours apart. And earlier on Monday morning, a shooting downtown left five men ages 61, 47, 39, 38 and 37 years old, all suffering from gunshot wounds. All survived.

“My prayers go out to the families of this week’s violent acts with again, weapons. I know the Parklane Community Association, Edgecombe Elementary school, and James D. Gross Recreation Center are very active in the community,” Middleton said in a statement. “I encourage neighbors to be a part of your association. It’s time to help each other build neighborhoods where each of us can feel safe and secure from crime.”

Baltimore City Councilman John Bullock, who represents District 9, calls it a “tough situation” in many of the city’s neighborhoods as they grapple with the the intersection of crime and poverty. The Carrollton Ridge neighborhood in his district suffered the loss of a 27-year-old man was shot to death Thursday, and the neighborhood has experienced 8 to 12 killings in each of the past three years. On March 25, another man in Carrollton Ridge was found shot to death in between several vacant and boarded up homes.

Bullock said, he thought that things would quiet down in his district during the pandemic, and indeed most crime categories recorded steep drops in the past year. Not so with murders and shootings, however, which have kept on at a relentless pace. Bullock said the longstanding concerns facing the neighborhood, including drug use and poverty and growing up in a violent atmosphere, have made it difficult to get the violence under control.

“Part of it is police response, but also, it is community issues that need to be addressed. We need to get to the root of them,” Bullock said in an interview. “As folks have grown up in communities where they have been traumatized, that stays with them and it affects the way that they handle conflict in the community.”

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison and Mayor Brandon Scott held a press conference in the South Clifton Park neighborhood on Thursday after a 14-year-old girl was injured in a shooting in broad daylight.

Harrison said there was no description of a suspect in the young girl’s shooting. She was shot in the lower leg and it stemmed from a dispute, police said.

Police said the teen was taken to an area hospital and is in “good” condition.

Late Wednesday night, Georgio Johnson, 33, was found suffering from a gunshot wound in East Baltimore’s Oliver neighborhood. He was taken to a local hospital where he later died, police said.

Four other men were killed in shootings the next day.

Police found a 25-year-old who died after being shot in the head in a courtyard in the 800 block of W. Lexington St.

A 38-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds to his torso was found in his car in Coppin Heights. He died at the scene, police said.

Thursday afternoon, another man was shot in the Arlington neighborhood of Northwest Baltimore and later succumbed to his injuries at an area hospital.

Just over an hour later, police found three gunshot victims — a 30-year-old man, a 30-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man — near the McElderry Park neighborhood in East Baltimore.

All victims were taken to the hospital, where the 31-year-old man was later pronounced dead. The other two victims are listed in stable condition.

“We as a city have to look ourselves in the mirror,” Scott said during the Thursday afternoon press conference. “The stupid, petty disputes have to stop leading to someone getting shot, especially our children.”

Baltimore Sun reporter Taylor DeVille contributed to this report.

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