Mass Shooting At Baltimore Block Party: Two Dead And 28 Injured, Igniting Renewed Calls To Curb Gun Violence
BALTIMORE - A neighborhood gathering in Baltimore turned deadly early on Sunday morning when a mass shooting took the lives of two attendees and left 28 injured. Police said the injured included more than a dozen minors and three critically wounded individuals.
According to police, at least two unidentified individuals started firing indiscriminately into crowds attending the "Brooklyn Day" celebration in the Brooklyn Homes district in south Baltimore around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Nine victims were transported by ambulance to an area hospital, and 20 more walked to nearby hospitals with significant injuries. As of Sunday afternoon, nine victims remain hospitalized, according to Baltimore's acting police commissioner Richard Worley.
Authorities said Aaliyah Gonzales, 18, died at the scene, and Kylis Fagbemi, 20, died at a hospital.
Police have yet to announce arrests in connection to the shooting, and it remains unclear whether or not the violence was targeted.
The Baltimore Sun reports that the "Brooklyn Day" gathering was not officially sanctioned by the Baltimore City government, leaving the area without a police presence at the time of the incident.
The shooting was the largest in Baltimore since at least 2014, according to data from The Gun Violence Archive.
Local Officials and Community Members Respond:
The violent incident marred holiday gatherings across the state as officials grapple with Baltimore's high crime rates.
Local police have registered nearly 300 shootings and about 130 homicides this year, despite a slight decrease from last year. Authorities have expressed their determination to handle repeat offenders of violent crimes aggressively.
Mayor Brandon Scott, addressing those responsible, vowed to continue the hunt until they are apprehended. He encouraged anyone with helpful information to come forward to aid investigators in their search for the perpetrators.
"I want those who are responsible to hear me and hear me very clearly," Scott said. "We will not stop until we find you, and we will find you. Until then, I hope that every single breath you take, that you think about the lives that you took, think about the lives that you impacted here tonight."
In a statement, Governor Wes Moore expressed grief for the victims, their families, and the Baltimore community, asserting Maryland's commitment to preventing similar violence.
"Maryland has had enough of watching gun violence continue to ravage our state and our nation," Moore said in a statement. "The fact that these horrific shootings continue to take place is abominable. We as a state will continue to do everything we can to prevent senseless acts of violence like the one we saw last night."
Maryland State's Attorney Ivan Bates said prosecutors are working closely with detectives to bring the shooters to justice.
"A mass shooting occurred in our city, resulting in the injury of 30 individuals and the loss of at least two innocent lives. This shocking incident could have happened to any of us celebrating in our communities this holiday weekend. The immense pain and grief felt throughout our city today is palpable. My office and I stand with those impacted by this tragedy and offer our support in any way we can," Bates said in a statement. "Our homicide prosecutors have been in close contact with BPD Detectives and are providing support and assistance as needed. Additionally, our Victim/Witness coordinators and Community Engagement Team are canvassing the community to ensure residents are aware of available resources and how to access them."
Randallstown NAACP president, Ryan Coleman, expressed his condolences to the victims' families and offered solutions for Baltimore's tragic crime rates.
"It takes remarkable fortitude to remain an optimist about Baltimore today. Baltimore's ills — it's blight, suburban flight, segregation, drugs, racial inequality, concentrated poverty, and inability to find solutions to basic problems," Coleman said in a statement.
The Randallstown NAACP offered six solutions:
1: Focus on clearing the 40,000 warrants with expanding the WATF. To create another task force run by the State Police. To have a third warrant task force specifically focused on Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Howard County, and Harford County staffed by the state police and these jurisdictions.
2: Make it a felony for illegal possession of a gun. 3/ Find solutions to violent repeat offenders.
4: Begin gun courts to quickly and efficiently move these cases through the justice system.
5: Create a gun violence suppression task force that is heavily supervised, works under the Constitution of the United States, and de-emphasizes low-level arrests.
6: For the Department of Parole and Probation to ensure individuals do not become repeat offenders.
"Lastly, and most importantly, we all must work together every day to interrupt and stop the killing of Black Americans," Coleman said.
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