BALTIMORE — He can no longer wait for the city to wash down the blood in front of his Sub and Pizza parlor after a quadruple shooting, which left three dead in front of Papa Palace on East Monument Street, but Owner Essem Elghannem fears the impact on his workers will never go away.
“They’re scared of what they see going on,” said Elghannem. “It’s been going on for years, not (just) yesterday.”
“Just one man with a gun? Is that what it was?” we asked.
“I don’t know. I’m not sure, but we see the body on the floor,” he replied.
Former Baltimore Police Spokesman T.J. Smith lost his younger brother to gun violence in the city four years ago, and questions the lack of effectiveness in making the streets safe again.
“So many shots fired. Three people dead,” said Smith. “It’s tragic, and then to see another Safe Streets worker killed, it’s super concerning from my perspective, because that’s the third in a year.”
Smith says it merits an outside review of the program to insure that its some of their workers have not been compromised in their mission to use their unlawful pasts to resolve conflict on the streets.
Not lost upon Smith is the fact that in addition to this quadruple shooting, five more people were shot in the city on the same night.
“The people who were shot who did not die weren’t intended to be just scared. They were intended to be killed,” said Smith. “And of course, as we always talk about this, many of those victims last night, either them or their family members or friends, are going to be looking for the individuals that shot them, which again continues that violence.”
Violence, which has plagued the East Baltimore neighborhood over the dozen years that Elghannem has owned his business.
“We need help from the state, help from the government---the Mayor’s Office to come in and clean (up) the street for everybody, you know?” said Elghannem. “Not just for the business, but for the community. Kids maybe could get hurt in this situation. You know. Anybody could get hurt.”