BALTIMORE, Md. — A "larger than usual" crowd gathered Tuesday night in West Baltimore for a prayer walk where four men were hurt and one was killed in a quintuple shooting last week.
"It's a turnout of unity from people who don't necessarily live in West Baltimore but who are Baltimoreans who care about our city and so this is the kind of solidarity and unity that our city needs in order to heal and to move forward," councilman Leon Pinkett, who represents this district, said.
Acting Baltimore Police commissioner Michael Harrison, Mayor Catherine Pugh and Archbishop William Lori joined dozens of people for a walk for peace around the Pennsylvania Triangle Park area.
"When asked what does community policing look like, this is exactly what community policing looks like. It's not the police policing the community, it's the community policing the community. So while this is ground zero for a very tragic event that happened while we were at a community meeting to talk about this very thing, we now must decide what we are going to do after we march. The call to action," Harrison said.
Bishop Denis Madden holds these walks monthly across the city and said this was a very big turnout. This one was planned before the quintuple shooting but he says it underscores the importance of showing support to victims, their families and people who live close by and see violence at their doorsteps constantly.
"When we have our precious children dying at record numbers, it is imperative that we come out and pray and support our families. I lost my precious son to gun violence it will be 10 years April 1. What any mother goes through, you do not want to get that call," Baltimore Police Chaplain Denise Reid said.
"Life has meaning and we must teach others the meaning of life. We have a great hope for our city, that it will become the greatest city in America, and it can be. But there are too many shootings, too many unnecessary killings, too many illegal guns on the streets of our city and I can tell you every single day, there is nothing more important to improving quality of life than reducing crime in the city, and so it is that we declare that we together can change the paradigm," Pugh said.
The next prayer walk is at the end of March at St. Francis Xavier Church in East Baltimore.