A trip to a corner store Sunday evening for a 47-year-old man and 11- and 12-year-old girls put the trio in the middle of gunfire as three other men repeatedly shot at another person in the store.
The man was shot in the back, and the two girls were grazed by bullets in the Four Seasons carryout store at the corner of West North Avenue and Druid Hill Avenue, police said.
The shooting "appeared to be retaliatory" for an attack an hour earlier a few blocks away on Bloom Avenue, in which a woman — another bystander — was shot, said Col. Stanley Brandford, chief of detectives.
"None of these victims that were shot were the intended targets," Brandford said. The girls, he said, "were two kids going to the store to buy items. It sickens all of us."
Not long after the shooting at the store, officers found a teenager suffering from a gunshot wound in a home on McCulloh Street. After scouring video of the shooting, Brandford said, detectives determined that the man was one of the three gunmen.
Lin, who has worked at the store for two years, said the shooting made her fearful for the girls' safety — "of course" — but she brought them back to work with her Monday. They sat on the floor and watched cartoons behind the counter and the thick glass window as she rang up a pack of candy for a customer.
"The police say, 'We are here,' and we'll be fine," Lin said.
Brandford said the recent string of brazen shootings in the city "cannot be explained."
"We're appalled by it," he said. "There is no good reason why this should happen on any streets here in Baltimore City."
He said officers are working hard to make the city safe but need help from witnesses to solve cases.
T.J. Smith, the Police Department's chief spokesman, described the three gunmen as "callous bad guys" who shot one of their accomplices. He stressed the incident wasn't a gun battle between dueling groups of shooters.
Meanwhile, the city reached 341 homicides in 2015 — its deadliest year in killings per capita — with two more shootings Monday.
A 22-year-old man was shot and killed execution-style in the street in West Baltimore on Monday afternoon, police said.
Brandford joined homicide detectives in surveying the scene in the 1900 block of Baker St. More than 30 evidence markers littered the street. Officers were called to the shooting about 4:25 p.m., police said.