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Recent wave of gun violence puts Baltimore on pace to surpass last year’s homicide rate

Posted at 10:44 PM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 23:12:49-04

BALTIMORE — Baltimore City is on pace to surpass the number of homicide’s last year when the city recorded 335.

It marked the sixth straight year of at least 300.

The city’s death toll so far this year is now at 83, which is up nine compared to this same time last year.

Within the last week, ten people were killed. Half of them happened in just 24 hours.

A rise in homicides also coincides with an increase in non-fatal shootings. There’s been 152 as of Friday, which is up seven compared to this time a year ago.

One of the most recent shootings happened on Thursday, involving a 14-year-old girl.

Baltimore Police said she was shot after an argument inside of a beauty salon. It remains unclear if she had a role in the dispute.

Mayor Brandon Scott denounced the violence.

“I don’t care what it’s about,” he said. “I don’t care if a 14-year-old is involved in a petty dispute. It should not end up with anyone being shot.”

As city officials continue to work to get the crime under control, organizations throughout Baltimore are on the ground engaging residents and offering resources to underserved communities.

“We as a society don’t know how to resolve our conflicts,” said Erricka Bridgeford with Baltimore Ceasefire 365.

Bridgeford said poverty, blight and problems plaguing the city contributes to the trauma people living in Baltimore experience. She said it only fuels the violence.

“We need to be addressing all of the things that keep people in survival mode. Humans should not be in survival mode.”

Bridgeford has been working at community mediation center in the city helping people settle their beefs before they go too far.

It’s in conjunction with her work, which includes Ceasefire weekends.

She also said she’s partnering with the We Our Us movement to give 300 black men conflict management training within the next year.

“Because I can’t just show up after the violence has happened. We have to do be doing it on the front end,” she said.

Bridgeford is hopeful her organization’s work and others will lead to a safer Baltimore.

“Everybody needs to think of the violence epidemic in the way we think about COVID-19 what should my organization be doing to make sure nobody experiences verbal, emotional or mental violence on my watch. And if everybody is doing that, it will change a lot of the way we do everything."