BALTIMORE — "One shooting is too much. To have 5 at a time is discouraging," councilman Leon Pinkett said.
Last Thursday, four men were hurt and one was killed in a shooting on Bloom Street in Pinkett's district.
"People are concerned. People feel unsafe. People want to feel safe in their neighborhoods. They want to be able to enjoy their quality of life and when there’s this level of crime, this level of violence, they can't enjoy their communities, their children can't enjoy their communities," Pinkett said.
"It's not right that some people live in certain neighborhoods where there is a lot of violence or where they are subjected to a lot of violence, so we try to be there and support," Bishop Denis Madden said.
Madden started an effort years ago to make neighbors feel supported, a prayer walk and vigil.
"I felt very much that we had to try and do something against violence in the city and I felt that one of the things that's very important is prayer, asking God's blessings to bring peace and help people in these kinds of situations," Madden said. "I think it helps the community a lot, I think the people feel that they're not forgotten."
Once a month, religious and community leaders join elected officials to walk around neighborhoods, visiting crime scenes and praying. The next one is Tuesday and it just happened to be planned a block away from the quintuple shooting so they will instead just focus on the one crime scene.
"It is really important for people to come out and show that this is something that the community does not accept," Madden said.
"We have to come out and support our neighbors, support our communities and let them know that they’re not alone," Pinkett said.
Pinkett knows there's a lot of work to do, that the prayer walk is not going to curb the violence by itself, but he says this collaboration is an essential part.
"We know we have economic opportunity or lack thereof in certain communities and that has to be dealt with. There are resources that have to come to this community, so it won't be just a law enforcement approach. We have to, as a community, prioritize dis-invested neighborhoods and target those at-risk young people, especially black males that need the resources," Pinkett said. "There’s been so much violence in our city over the last several years really and if we're not careful, we become numb to the amount of violence, and by bringing the community together, at least brings a semblance of hope that if we work collectively we can address this violence."
The walk will start at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at the Pennsylvania Triangle Park, a block from where the shooting happened on Bloom Street.