Names of gun violence victims are read aloud during a service at the Cathedral of the Incarnation.

Tucked inside of a somber room inside of the Cathedral of Incarnation sat several Baltimore residents who lit candles and read off names for each person who lost their life to gun violence during this year, month by month.

The event, organized by Rev. Scott Slater with help from the local CeaseFire chapter, opened with prayer, bible scripture reading and a mother, Lucy McBath, who wrote an open letter to her son who lost his life to gun violence back in 2012.


Slater, who said names were obtained from the Baltimore Sun’s homicide tracker, introduced each month of names with a prayer, and when finished the crowd responded: “Our eyes overflow with tears," at the cathedral at 4 East University Parkway.

Slater said this is an annual event he has held annually and as Baltimore City violence has increased compared to previous years he hopes that more people will participate in the coming years.

The city is winding down a record setting year with at least 349 killings – as of Tuesday afternoon.

At the vigil, Slater said it is “discouraging” that violent crime keeps increasing, but said that events like the voicing of names at community events helps bring victims and the community together.

“A lot of it [the violence] is retaliation,” Slater said. “It’s so deeply ingrained in this city and other cities that it is hard to know where to start.”

The onslaught of killings has been overwhelming in recent weeks, with the fatal shooting of Destiny Harrison, a 21-year-old hair salon owner and other deaths.

Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott went to social media after Sean Davis, 33, was shot and killed outside of his auto shop business on Dec. 17.

The city has a 32% homicide clearance rate, ending the year with one of its lowest rates in three decades. Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison and Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young spoke in a press conference on Monday about efforts to combat rising violence in the city.

They said more detectives will be hired and resources will be shifted to allow homicide victims to focus solely on their growing caseloads.

Anyone with information is asked to call 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7Lockup. You can also text tips to 443-902-4824.