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Family, friends of victims try to pick up pieces after violent weekend in Baltimore; 2 more people shot Monday

After an especially violent weekend in Baltimore, families of several men killed were busy planning funeral arrangements Monday.

At a house off Patapsco Avenue in South Baltimore, the family of Erskine Reed Jr. was organizing a service for the 21-year-old.

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“It’s a terrible, terrible thing,” said his grandmother, declining to comment further.

Reed was shot and killed Friday night in the 3000 block of Hollins Ferry Road.

He was one of 18 people shot over the weekend; among them were two small children, ages 1 and 2. A total of seven people were killed in three days, including one man who was stabbed. The violence continued Monday as two additional people were injured in a shooting in North Baltimore.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison pledged during a community canvassing event Sunday that perpetrators of the recent violence would be held accountable, and he asked for the community’s help.

“If you are committing the violence, if violence is the life that you choose, then we will see to it that prison will be the price that you pay,” Harrison said. “The people who committed this crime have to be held responsible now.”

Just weeks after he was officially sworn in as the city’s top cop in March, the mayor who nominated him, Catherine Pugh, went on an indefinite leave; she resigned Thursday amid federal and state investigations of her business dealings. Bernard C. “Jack” Young immediately succeeded her as mayor.

Harrison inherited persistent, high levels of violence and is rebuilding the department’s command staff while continuing reforms required under a federal consent decree.

The city has passed 100 homicides this year. Nonfatal shootings also remain high with more than 200 people suffering injuries — that’s up 20 percent compared with the same time last year.

A Baltimore police spokesman declined to comment Monday on the violence.

In Southwest Baltimore, family members said they were making arrangements for Dashawn Shelton, just 20 years old, shot on Morley Street in Southwest Baltimore.

His family declined to comment further.

Among those killed Friday was Tyrone Johnson, 29, who was shot in the 4000 block of Pennington Ave. in South Baltimore.

Johnson’s former girlfriend, Jessica Howell, 27, described Johnson as a very “loving and caring” man who liked to dance and joke.

“He was real goofy,” she said with a smile.

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She said she and Johnson dated for several months and shared an apartment. He had recently been released from jail, she said, and was working to start his life anew. Howell said she didn’t know the details of his past charges, but online court records indicate Johnson had been charged with first-degree assault in 2016 and later sentenced to three years in prison.

Howell heard about the shooting from a mutual friend. “I was in shock. I wasn’t expecting it,” she said, adding that she’s never known someone who has been killed.

“It’s dangerous,” she said of the city. “You’ve got to worry about everything. The warmer it gets, the worse it gets outside.”

In Southwest Baltimore, in the 1900 block of Ramsay St. two children — 1 and 2 years old — had been shot Friday evening, along with a woman and two men. Nearby resident Sue Mathis said she is planning to move from her rowhome rental to Morrell Park because of the violence.

“I raised my son around here. It wasn’t like this,” she said of the Carrollton Ridge neighborhood.

She said she often sees dealers drive into the neighborhood where they set up shop, sell drugs and blast music; she’s afraid to let her 8-year-old granddaughter outside her home. Mathis said the city needs more police officers. While she said she she sees more uniforms after a shooting, a week later, they leave. She said the city also needs tougher prosecutors to put violent offenders away.

“It hurts. It was never like this,” she said of the violence.

She said she hopes to be fully moved before there’s more violence outside her door.

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