Violence surged over Labor Day weekend with 22 people shot, including a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old. (Emma Patti Harris/Baltimore Sun video)
Violence in Baltimore came in bunches over the Labor Day weekend, with four triple-shootings breaking out in the city.
Twenty-two people were shot from Friday afternoon through Monday night, police said. At least three were killed, and four more were in critical condition Monday.
The victims included a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old. Police said a gunman left a dice game disgruntled on Saturday and opened fire indiscriminately on a crowd in Latrobe Homes.
The oldest victim was a 62-year-old woman, who sought refuge in a Wilkens Avenue pizza shop after a shooting claimed the life of a 29-year-old man.
T.J. Smith, the chief spokesman for the Police Department, said police needed the community's help to identify the shooters and take them off the streets.
He focused on the alleged dice game shooter.
"We're just so fortunate we're not talking about funerals being planned for the 4-year-old and the 6-year-old," he said. "But those are two young people who haven't started grade school who have bullet wound trauma to deal with for the rest of their lives."
A 60-year-old woman was also hit by a bullet in the Latrobe Homes attack.
The shooter "showed that he doesn't care about anyone," Smith said.
More than half of the victims — 12 people — were shot between 9:30 p.m. Sunday and 9:45 p.m. Monday.
A man was shot in the 2700 block of Beryl Ave. Monday night. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Earlier Monday, at about 9:20 a.m., a 16-year-old girl was shot in her calf in the 2100 block of Aiken St.
On Mura Street, in East Baltimore's Johnston Square neighborhood, there was little evidence Monday afternoon that three young people had been shot hours earlier. Children bounced a basketball, and an older man waxed his car as R&B music blared out of a boombox propped up on the steps of a vacant rowhouse. Women sitting outside enjoying the cool air said they were either at work when the shooting broke out, or were unaware of any details.
Down the block near Greenmount Avenue were the unmistakable streaks of blood on the pavement.
Around 2 a.m. here, a 23-year-old woman was shot in the neck, and a man whose age was not disclosed was hit in the neck and body. Both were listed in critical condition Monday morning, police said. A 20-year-old woman was grazed in the arm, but did not require medical attention.
An hour earlier, around 1 a.m., in the 2600 block of E. Monument St., a 34-year-old man died after being shot in the chest, and two women — ages 23 and 22 — were shot in the leg and abdomen, respectively. The women were expected to survive.
Across town, four people were shot in separate incidents about 20 minutes apart late Sunday. A 21-year-old man was shot in the buttocks in the 1600 block of N. Ellamont St. around 9:40 p.m.
Three people were shot in the 2300 block of Wilkens Ave. A 29-year-old man died after being struck in the chest.
Several evidence markers were placed in the street at Wilkens Avenue and Catherine Street, outside a pizza shop tagged with graffiti that boasts "Best Pizza in Town."
Inside the shop, police found the 62-year-old woman suffering from a gunshot wound to the arm.
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Another two people were shot just before 11 p.m. Monday at North Paca and West Saratoga streets west of downtown, police said. Officers found one victim, a 53-year-old shot in the knee, at the scene. The other, a 22-year-old, arrived at a hospital shortly later with gunshot wounds to his back and arms, police said.
Police did not disclose whether they had motives or suspects in any of the incidents.
"We're still looking at the connectivity of it," Smith, the police spokesman, said. "We do know that some of the victims in some of these incidents are gang members, gang affiliated. These are things we're looking at to draw any other connectivity."
The city went six days without a homicide last week — an unusually quiet stretch. Then came the barrage of shootings.
"It's certainly something that is disappointing and frustrating," Smith said. "We need to see the community as outraged as we are that these trigger pullers are operating in anonymity."