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Seven homicides in six days, and a rash of shootings is called ‘unacceptable’ by Baltimore officials as solutions remain elusive

A shooting Tuesday night in South Baltimore’s Brooklyn neighborhood left one man dead and two others injured. South Baltimore experienced a particularly high level of violence in a week that saw seven people killed and 16 shot citywide.
A shooting Tuesday night in South Baltimore’s Brooklyn neighborhood left one man dead and two others injured. South Baltimore experienced a particularly high level of violence in a week that saw seven people killed and 16 shot citywide. (McKenna Oxenden)

Early Monday morning someone flagged down a Baltimore police car in the Westport neighborhood of South Baltimore. At 12:44 a.m. on the 2400 block of Annapolis Road, officers found the body of a 21-year-old woman, and an autopsy later confirmed she had been strangled.

The woman, who has still not been identified, was one of seven people killed on city streets so far this week. All of the others were killed by gunfire, and a total of 16 people have been shot in Baltimore since Sunday, according to police data.

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At least one person has been shot each day of the week.

Mayor Brandon Scott commended police for arresting Philip Blankenship , 29, on Friday, charging him with murder for a Thursday homicide on Charles Street in Central Baltimore, but said he is not satisfied.

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“Having seven incidents with eight victims over a small period of time is not acceptable to us,” the Democratic mayor said. “I met with the police commissioner and his team earlier today and reemphasized the importance of being proactive, of being in the places and interacting with the people who we know are trying to commit harm on the city.”

The week was marred by incidents in which there were multiple victims, such as Tuesday when three people were shot in South Baltimore’s Brooklyn neighborhood. Nathaniel Brown, 28, died while two others survived an attack around 8 p.m. in the 3500 block of Hanover St.

Brown’s family spent days posting images of him on Instagram with posts expressing pain and sadness for their son, brother and father.

Two days later, on Thursday, officers found a 30-year-old man with multiple gunshot wounds in the unit block of S. Carey St. in the Poppleton neighborhood, police.

Then, another unidentified male was killed in the 200 block of Harmison St. in the Carrollton Ridge neighborhood around 3:27 p.m. Less than five hours later, an unidentified man was gunned down in the 1300 block of N. Charles St. in Central Baltimore’s Mid-Town Belvedere neighborhood.

Another homicide occurred Friday morning, a 22-year-old man in Pigtown in the 1100 block of Washington Blvd.

It was the fifth homicide in police department’s southern district in five days. City Councilwoman Phylicia Porter, who represents the area, said she remains determined to find a solution, even as violence surges this year.

“From the two individuals that were murdered in Pigtown/Washington Village to the triple homicide on the intersection of Patapsco and Hanover Street in Brooklyn, I remain steadfast in prioritizing a safe district for everyone — from our babies to our seniors,” Porter said in a statement. “Every resident deserves to feel safe in their community.”

Porter said her office, residents and business leaders have reached out to police for help.

“We will continue to collaborate with the Mayor’s administration, BPD, public safety organizations, community leaders, and small businesses to provide actionable solutions,” she said.

So far this year 69 people have been killed in Baltimore, six more than at the same time last year. The total amount of nonfatal shootings also have increased, with a total of 131 shootings this year compared to 121 at this same time last year.

Around 9 p.m. Friday, a male and female were found with gunshot wounds in the 1600 block of Rutland Ave. and taken to area hospitals, police said.

“We are not where we need to be with reducing homicides in the city of Baltimore right now,” Scott said. “I am not happy. This is not the face of someone who is going to accept the numbers that we have today.”

Asked what immediate action the department has taken following the spate of violence, Harrison said deployment strategies have been adjusted and officers have been freed to be available to fill those posts.

“We know what happened in one of the cases because the officers were there to witness at least one of those and they made an arrest. It’s always about monitoring, measuring and ensuring supervisors are supervising officers who are performing,” Harrison said.

Baltimore Sun reporter Emily Opilo contributed to this article.

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