Constance Fields was sitting in her living room Thursday night when she heard a rapid succession of pops, like firecrackers. She quickly realized it was gunfire.
She and her grandchildren got down on the floor and waited until they saw the red and blue lights from police cars outside her Northeast Baltimore home, where her neighbor, Brian Tabb, 24, was pulled from a white convertible by responders and lay lifeless on the street.
Tabb was one of five people killed in the Baltimore region since Thursday. Two other men were killed in the city, and two more in Baltimore County, marking the suburban jurisdiction's first homicides of 2016. Baltimore police also responded to four other shootings, two of which left victims in critical condition.
The killings come as Baltimore police try to move past 344 homicides last year, which set a per-capita record. Much of the violence was in West Baltimore, where police reported 66 homicides. But in the Northeast District, where Fields lives, there were 50 homicides, up from 32 the previous year.
"It happened so fast," Fields recalled. She said another victim, who was struck in the knee, is a young man who lives next door to her.
Police said the gunman walked up to the car in the 5900 block of Winthrope Ave., firing and striking Tabb several times in the upper torso. He was pronounced dead at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The second victim was taken to an area hospital for a wound that was not considered life-threatening. A third person in the vehicle was not hurt, police said.
Police have not identified any suspects or motives in the case. Department spokesman Detective Donny Moses said that Tabb was a potential witness to an earlier homicide, but declined to say which one.
A knock on Tabb's mother's home Friday went unanswered.
Fields' daughter Jacqueline said the family had known Tabb since he was young and he was always very respectful. But she believes he fell into the wrong crowd."He had the potential to be a good kid," she said. She recalled that recently she was walking her dog when he came up to her and asked for a hug.
"Out of nowhere," she said. She said Tabb was often riding dirt bikes down the street, which she did not like because of noise and safety concerns. She recalled another time she saw Tabb riding down Belair Road on an ATV.
She and her mother said they are selling the house and planning to move to Canton, where it's safer.
"I'm glad we're getting out of here," Constance Fields said.
About half an hour before Tabb's death, police received a call for a shooting in the 400 block of Pitman Place, where they found 25-year-old Tavon Lee shot in the back. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital and pronounced dead early Friday.
A third man was killed shortly before 4:30 p.m Friday in a shooting near the 1100 block of W. Saratoga St. Police identified the victim as James Dankins, 28, of the 4100 block of Parkside Drive.
Baltimore police also responded to five nonfatal shootings across the city Thursday and Friday.
In the latest, a gunman walked into the Four Seasons Beauty Supply store on Friday night and shot a 32-year-old woman in the left thigh, police said. A suspect ran out of the store and north on Druid Hill Avenue. Police found the woman at 6:50 p.m. in the 1200 block of W. North Avenue. She was taken to a hospital and is expected to recover from her injuries.
On Thursday, a 24-year-old man was found shot about 8:20 p.m. in the 5440 Gardenwood Road in Northeast Baltimore. Shortly after 10 p.m., officers were called to the 1300 block of N. Carey St. in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood, where a 20-year-old man had been shot in the chest. He was taken to a hospital and was in critical condition Friday.
At 11:34 p.m. police responded to the intersection of Boarman Avenue and Garrison Boulevard in Northwest Baltimore, where they found a 39-year-old woman who had been shot in the face. She was taken to an area hospital and was in critical condition Friday.
Just before midnight, an officer in the area of 1000 Greenmount Avenue in East Baltimore heard numerous gunshots and found a 26-year old man shot in the face. The victim was in serious but stable condition.
Meanwhile, Baltimore County homicide detectives responded Thursday to the county's first and second homicides of the year.
Treshawn William Johnson, 19, of the 100 block of Sunmar Court in Lochearn was fatally shot about 10:45 p.m. in the first block of Lower Gate Court in Owings Mills.
A second man who had been shot several times was found nearby. He was taken to an area hospital. Police did not have information about his condition Friday.
Just before 1 a.m. Thursday, police were called to 58-year-old Antonio Jimmy Gallo's home in the 7300 block of Kirtley Road in Dundalk. Police said he suffered traumatic injuries and was declared dead at the scene.