Shooting breaks up vigil in East Baltimore

A vigil at Eager Street and North Broadway in East Baltimore for a homicide victim abruptly dispersed at 7:13 p.m. Thursday when someone opened fire, according to neighbors.

Police said a 19-year-old man was shot Thursday on the 1600 block of Eager St.

Officers remained at the scene hours later, blocking off traffic and scouring the scene for bullet casings. A bouquet of blue balloons was tied outside a Chinese carryout place on the corner. Residents said the balloons were a tribute for a man whose nickname was “Tarzan”; the balloons spelled out his name.

On Monday, a 21-year-old man was fatally shot on the same block.

“It’s the same people beefin’ all the time,” said a neighbor named Ashley, who requested to be identified only by her first name. “Same boys that be sitting on the damn corner.”

One neighbor who declined to give his name said he heard around seven shots fired after balloons had been released into the air. There were several children in attendance — everyone started running and screaming once the shooting began, he said.

Police presence in the area has done little to deter violence, according to neighbors. “I know that police was sitting on the corner and it still happened,” said Ashley, sitting on her front steps. “They been here the last three days.”

It’s not the first time a vigil has been marred by violence in the city. In 2016, a gunman opened fire minutes into a vigil for a homicide victim in West Baltimore, wounding five people. In 2015, a man was wounded during a vigil for another homicide victim.

ctkacik@baltsun.com

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