Baltimore police are investigating a pair of homicides that pushed the city to its deadliest January ever.
The latest victim was found shot at around 1:51 a.m. Monday in the first block of Morris Road in Southwest Baltimore’s Rosemont neighborhood, near Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park, police said. The man, who has not been identified by police, was later pronounced dead.
The victim is the 36th counted this month, marking the deadliest January in nearly 50 years. Thirty-five people were killed in January 1973, when the city’s population was much larger. The monthly death toll includes those injured by shootings in prior months who died in January.
Just before 6 p.m. Sunday, a 66-year-old Clarence Joseph Buckner was found shot in the 3300 block of Rueckert Ave., police said. He was taken to an area hospital where he later died.
“The motivation appeared to be robbery,” said Detective Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman.
Monroe said Buckner had gone to a casino earlier in the day and “detectives have not ruled out the possibility that there may have been a connection.”
Later Sunday evening, a 31-year-old man was injured in a shooting in the 400 block of North Highland Ave. near E. Monument St. in East Baltimore. The victim, who was shot in the knee, was transported to an area hospital for treatment.
The shootings continued into Monday night when two men were shot in South Baltimore.
Police said officers were called to the 3500 block of Hanover St. around 9:45 p.m. to investigate a shooting.
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Once there, officers found a 26-year-old man suffering from a gunshot wound to the neck and a 53-year-old man suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to both legs. The men, who told police they ran into a store for cover from the gunshots, were transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
Police did not provide any suspect information in those incidents.
Police and city leadership are coming under further pressure to curb the unrelenting violence in the city. There were nine people killed last week, including the husband of a police internal affairs lieutenant, who was waiting for a refrigerator delivery at home in Northeast Baltimore, and the general manager of a Little Italy restaurant.
The department released a statement Monday morning noting that officers made 58 arrests over the weekend, including: two individuals who were charged with murder, 11 for handgun-related offenses and five for robberies. Police also said officers served 55 warrants, including one for murder, one for attempted murder, seven for robberies and one handgun warrant.
“The Baltimore Police Department continues to work with area law enforcement partners to increase visibility and with community organizations to identify and apprehend violent offenders,” the statement said.
A goal of Mayor Brandon Scott’s administration is to reduce gun violence by 15% over a year. But so far, homicides are up by nine victims compared to this date last year, and nonfatal shootings are up by 11, with 56 people injured in shootings this year.
Baltimore Sun reporters Alex Mann and McKenna Oxenden contributed to this article.