BALTIMORE — "I think it's sad and I think it's ridiculous," said Millard Buise.
Buise grew up on Pennsylvania Avenue when it was bustling with businesses, music and entertainment. Today, he said it looks much different.
"I see the crime and I see the poverty, but one time this was a thriving community," said Buise.
Overnight, it was the scene of another shooting.
Just before midnight, police responded to a Shot Spotter alert of multiple gunshots in the 1600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue near the newly renovated Shake and Bake Family Fun Center. An officer who was nearby responded immediately and found a silver Chevy Equinox parked in the southbound lane, a block south on Pennsylvania Avenue, that suddenly drove away swiftly. Responding officers got the vehicle’s description and stopped it at the intersection of Mosher Street and Argyle Avenue. Inside the car, police found a 26-year-old man and a 35-year-old man both suffering from gunshot wounds. They were taken to an area hospital in serious condition.
Two hours later and just a few blocks up on West North Avenue, three men were shot. Police found a 33-year-old man who was suffering from a gunshot wound to the hand, a 50-year-old man who was suffering from a gunshot wound to the thigh, and another man suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. The 33-year-old and the 50-year-old are in good condition, but the third victim is in serious condition.
"Clearly our city is in a crisis as it relates to the gun violence on the streets, and we've got to figure out how are these illegal fire arms getting into the hands of these individuals, not just adults but young people," said Councilman Leon Pinkett, who represents West Baltimore where a lot of the city's violence occurs.
Eight people were shot and one was killed in five incidents across the city during a five-hour span overnight Wednesday, Baltimore Police said.
The violence started just before 9 p.m. in the Northeast District, as police responded to an area hospital for the report of a walk-in shooting victim. Police found a 29-year-old man who was suffering from gunshot wounds to his right arm and right eye. Police say the man was conscious and breathing and believe the man was driving his car in the 4400 block of Shamrock Avenue when an unknown suspect began shooting at him.
About three hours later, patrol officers responded to the 4900 block of Liberty Heights Avenue for a reported shooting. There they found a 24-year-old man suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. He was taken to a hospital, but his condition is currently unknown.
Then just before midnight in the Southwest District, officers responded to the 2200 block of Christian Street for a report of someone hearing gunshots. When they arrived, they found an unknown man lying unresponsive on the sidewalk and suffering from gunshot wounds. Medics arrived, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police identified the victim Friday as 32-year-old Scott Franklin from Phoenix, Md.
And Wednesday morning, another Baltimore Police employee was robbed, not far from police headquarters.
"It shows that there is not a particular face of demographic for victims of crime," said Pinkett.
Pinkett said he's optimistic about Police Commissioner Michael Harrison's new crime plan, but said it's not just a police issue. It's on the community too.
"We've got to return to that era of time where we looked out for our neighbors, where we knew what was happening on our block," said Pinkett. "The sense of community that really was the fiber that held many of these neighborhoods together is tattered and dissolved, and we've got to restore that if we are going to build out neighborhoods back up."
He also acknowledged the need for more economic opportunities and the revitalization of neighborhoods like Penn Ave, the city's newly designated Black Arts and Entertainment District.
"The basic fact is these kids don't have nothing to do so they resort to selling drugs and doing things," said Buise. "They need to have more job opportunities for these kids and all of the people here just need something to do."
Anyone with information about any of these crimes can provide information anonymously to Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.