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How Baltimore went from 43 homicides to 42 in May

Baltimore police lowered the city's homicide count for May by one to 42 on Thursday, after determining one of the killings was in self-defense and thus justified.

The incident removed from the homicide count involved a double shooting on May 7 in the 800 block of W. Lexington St. At 8:19 p.m., officers found Armand Parrine, 26, with multiple gunshot wounds to his body. He was taken to a hospital but did not survive.

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"Through our investigation, homicide detectives were able to identify the person believed to be the suspect," Baltimore police spokesman Detective Jeremy Silbert said Thursday. "We work with the state's attorney's office, and after looking at the case, prosecutors decided it was justifiable self-defense."

Silbert said he had no other details, including whether the shooter was charged with any other crime.

In the same incident, police also found a 16-year-old in the 100 block of N. Fremont Ave. with a gunshot wound to his leg.

The department's shooting and homicide counts are turned over annually to the FBI, which tallies national crime statistics under the Uniform Crime Reporting program. Shootings are defined by Baltimore police as an incident where a suspect shoots a victim, who survives. A homicide, as defined by police, is an unjustified killing.

The 42 homicides in May marked the deadliest month in the city since August 1990, which also had 42 killings. The city has seen a surge in violence since the death of Freddie Gray on April 19, and the charging of six officers involved in his arrest on May 1.

Six homicides have been reported this month.

On Thursday, police reported one positive development: no overnight shootings for the first time in several days.

Police also removed another shooting from its annual count. Eastern District detectives investigated a 12:30 a.m. shooting on May 7 and determined the victim shot himself, according to police.

Besides last month and August 1990, the city has seen more than 40 homicides in a month just two times since 1970. There were 45 homicides in August 1972 and 44 in December 1971.

Baltimore has recorded 121 homicides this year, 36 more than last year at this time. Nearly 100 more nonfatal shootings have occurred this year than at this time last year, for a total of 221, according to police.

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