With Baltimoreans resuming peaceful protests, gun violence away from the media spotlight and National Guard deployments picked up.
Four people were shot Tuesday night, and five more Wednesday. At least two were fatal.
Residents were milling around Wednesday morning along a Northwest Baltimore shopping strip where two people were shot the night before, including a 42-year-old man who died. An apparent blood trail dotted the sidewalk along a strip of mostly shuttered businesses.
Joseph Patrick took down crime-scene tape when he arrived for work at one of the pawn shops there.
"It didn't look good for business," said Patrick, 58.
The death of Freddie Gray after an injury in police custody, and the subsequent protests and unrest it spurred, have cast fresh attention on the city's woes including poverty, drug addiction and unemployment.
Since April 12, when Gray was arrested, at least 13 people have been killed and, so far this year, homicides are up 25 percent.
Police resources have been bulked up in key protest areas such as downtown and West Baltimore. Police spokesman Capt. Eric Kowalczyk said support from other law enforcement agencies, whose members are spread throughout the city, has helped detectives respond as they normally would to crimes unrelated to the protests.
Homicide detectives were investigating two incidents that occurred during daylight hours Wednesday — men who were shot in the head in the 3800 block of Liberty Heights Ave. in Northwest Baltimore, and at Pennington Avenue and Hazel Street in Curtis Bay. The Curtis Bay victim died at the hospital, while the Liberty Heights victim was being treated at an area hospital.
At about 8 p.m. Wednesday, a man was shot in the chest in the 2400 block of Frederick Ave. on the southwest side of the city, police said. Later Wednesday, another man was shot in the 500 block of Denison St., police said. The department released neither man's condition but said Homicide Unit detectives had been called to Denison.
Two of Tuesday's shootings occurred at a commercial strip near Park Heights and West Belvedere avenues, in the shadow of Pimlico Race Track. Just before 6 p.m., a 31-year-old woman was shot in the arm in the 3200 block of W. Garrison Ave. Then, after 8 p.m., an unidentified man was fatally shot multiple times one block north in the 5100 block of Park Heights Ave.
Police did not release the names of the homicide victims, or descriptions of the suspects or motives.
"It's another day in the neighborhood," said Patrick, leaning against a bicycle on the sidewalk.
Resident Troy Evans, 46, said the complaints of police brutality and the street violence go hand-in-hand.
"It's all under one umbrella," Evans said. "Half the kids, their parents are on drugs. When I was growing up, there were four rec centers around here. Now? Come on."
Evans recalled once being on the sidewalk near another man when police stopped them and handcuffed them to each other. Evans said he didn't know the man. Evans said the officers said they would lock both of them up if they found anything on the other man.
On Wednesday morning in Park Heights, there was no sign of the National Guard deployment that brought more than a thousand troops into the city. No businesses on the strip had been damaged in prior days, which Evans chalked up to residents turning back looters.
Four officers were in and around a van parked nearby on Spaulding Avenue. Two officers walking together passed through, and a cruiser stopped at one point and told a group of people to disperse. After the police left, people returned to the sidewalk.
Reflecting the tensions across the city, Patrick said some people began spreading a rumor that police were behind Tuesday night's fatal shooting.
I told them 'That's a damn lie, police didn't do that,'" Patrick said. He said the confluence of events is overwhelming: "Everything's happening all at once."
Police had asked the stores in the Park Heights strip to close around 5 p.m. Tuesday, well before the 10 p.m. curfew, according to pawn shop employee Jay Davis. He said police told him they were worried that they would not have enough resources to respond to any incidents.
"People have called me asking, 'Are you open?' Why shouldn't I be?" he said.
Davis, who has worked at the shop since the mid-1990s, said he believed he knew the man killed Tuesday night. While Davis thinks the city is badly run and deters investment, he said he continues to work in the area as he counts down to retirement because he likes the people.
"I have a lot of faith in the people of this neighborhood," Davis said.
Sun reporter Alison Knezevich contributed to this article