La­bor Day week­end turns vi­o­lent

20 shot in Bal­ti­more from Fri­day af­ter­noon to Mon­day; at least three peo­ple died

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By Justin Fen­ton jfen­ton@balt­sun.com

Vi­o­lence in Bal­ti­more came in bunches over the La­bor Day week­end, with four triple shoot­ings break­ing out in the city.

Twenty peo­ple were shot from Fri­day af­ter­noon through Mon­day night, po­lice said. At least three were killed, and four 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. there, 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-yearold 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.

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.”

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