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Crime

Baltimore Police reclassify two deaths from homicides, changing 2022 homicide count from 301 to 299

Baltimore Police removed two homicides from their database Monday, changing the number of homicides in 2022 from 301 to 299.

The death of Tyree Moorehead, who was fatally shot by a Baltimore Police officer Nov. 6, was initially counted as a homicide but reclassified as “victim other” until the shooting investigation is complete, said Vernon Davis, a police spokesperson. Moorehead, a 46-year-old anti-violence “No Shoot Zone” activist, had brandished a knife and rolled onto a woman when he was shot. His loved ones said he was struggling with trauma and mental health challenges.

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Police also reclassified the deaths of Marcus Harris, 43, and Edward Johnson, 35, who shot each other Feb. 21, because Harris’ death “was determined to be Justified” by officers. Harris shot Johnson, who then returned fire, police said. Both men died from their gunshot wounds.

The Baltimore Sun, which maintains its own homicide tracker, reported Sunday that the city had reached more than 300 homicides for the eighth consecutive year after a 34-year-old was shot just before 10:30 p.m. Saturday in South Baltimore’s Cherry Hill neighborhood. He later died at a hospital, and police identified him as Willie Vinson.

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On Sunday afternoon, a 25-year-old man was shot and killed in Millhill in Southwest Baltimore. Officers responded about 4:30 p.m. and found the man, who has been identified as Antonio Holmes. Police said he died at the scene.

The homicide rate tracks similarly to last year’s — the city reached 300 homicides Nov. 18, 2021.

The overwhelming majority of this year’s homicides were Black men who were shot, according to data compiled by The Sun. These fatal shootings were concentrated in the Eastern, Northwestern, Northeastern, Southern, Southwest and Western police districts.

Mayor Brandon Scott, who has made anti-violence work central to his mayoral platform, lamented the staggering and continual loss of life.

“I have long said that my main priority as Mayor is to strengthen public safety and create a Baltimore where people can walk to or from school or sit with family or friends on their front porch or in a parked car without fear of being caught in the crossfire of a hail of bullets,” Scott said in a statement Sunday before the afternoon homicide.

“For each and every victim of violence there are loved ones whose lives are forever changed. My heart aches for them all and I will continue to work with local, state and federal leaders to see that Baltimore and its people know that we are doing everything possible to create the safe and welcoming communities that we all deserve.”

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Anti-violence efforts in the city have been ongoing.

In September, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement said it would expand services to gunshot victims during their hospital stays and would consolidate operation of the city’s Safe Streets program, which employs and trains “violence interrupters.”

Scott pointed to the ease with which people can obtain illegal guns from other states as “a catalyst for violence in our streets” and emphasized the need for stricter gun laws. Scott said in a statement that neither he nor the Baltimore Police Department could alone reduce the city’s homicide rate.

“We need stricter gun laws that keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of individuals who are reckless and irresponsible,” he said. “We need a justice system that will hold those who commit these acts accountable and see that they serve time for what they’ve done. We need community members to work together to support young people and help them see there are other ways to resolve conflict other than violence.”

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The number of nonfatal shootings is similar to last year’s, too. On Friday morning, the city had a total of 633 nonfatal shootings, just one fewer than last year at this time, according to police.

More than 1 in 8 victims of gun violence taken to hospitals in Baltimore and surrounding counties involved children 10 to 19 years old, an analysis of five years of hospital data by The Sun found.

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Baltimore Sun reporter Cassidy Jensen contributed to this article.

Homicides in Baltimore

2022 (to date): 299

2021: 338

2020: 335

2019: 348


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