Police said Monday that more than one person is suspected in the shooting during a holiday weekend block party in Baltimore that killed two people and injured 28 others, many of them under the age of 18. Were.
The circumstances of Sunday morning’s shooting remain under investigation after police spent hours investigating a massive crime scene in the Brooklyn Homes area in the southern part of the city. Baltimore’s Acting Police Commissioner Richard Worley told reporters that there were 30 victims in total, of whom more than a dozen are believed to be minors.
No arrests had been made till early Monday. Worley said it was unclear whether the shootings were targeted or random, but he said police believe there were multiple shooters.
Worley said, “We don’t know exactly how many people were there, but we do know that more than one person was firing.”
The shooting comes amid gatherings ahead of the Fourth of July holiday across the country. Seven people were wounded in a shooting in Kansas and two other victims were hospitalized after being crushed to death as people were leaving a nightclub Sunday morning, police there said.
The violence in Baltimore came the same week that federal prosecutors lauded efforts to reduce violent crime in the city. Police have reported about 130 murders and about 300 shootings so far this year, although this is down from last year. Authorities have repeatedly vowed to crack down on violent offenders aggressively.
Worley said nine of Sunday’s victims were taken by ambulance and 20 were taken to regional hospitals with gunshot wounds. Nine remained hospitalized on Sunday afternoon.
Police said on Sunday that the deceased victims were identified as 18-year-old Alia Gonzalez and 20-year-old Kylis Fagbemi. Gonzalez died at the scene and Fagbemi died at the hospital. Officials said the 28 injured victims ranged in age from 13 to 32, with more than half of them under 18.
Charlene Bowie, 66, who lives close to where the shooting happened, said she saw a large crowd, mostly teenagers.
He said, “Initially they were having fun, but you know kids… they started drinking and they were getting disorganized.”
Bowie said he called the police and told his granddaughter to come inside. Shortly after, they heard gunshots, and a bullet hit their air conditioner, breaking a piece of it and hitting their granddaughter in the back. The girl was not hurt, Bowie said, and they both lay on the floor.
Bowie said, “Just then I heard some banging on the door – boom, boom, boom, very loud – so I came downstairs and opened the door. The little girl was laying on my steps, she’d been shot.”
He said the girl, who appeared to be 14 or 15 years old, had a bullet injury in her leg. Bowie ran inside to get the cloth, then tied a tourniquet around her leg.
She added, “I just kept talking to him so he wouldn’t panic, you know.”
The shooting site was nearly deserted on Monday morning, with only a few people there, including a police officer, a man in a Red Cross vest, and a young man who cleaned a popcorn machine and popped kernels before loading them into a U-Haul truck. Cleaned up ,
Governor Wes Moore said his “heart breaks for these victims, their families, and the Baltimore community grappling with the loss.”
“Maryland has seen gun violence continue to ravage our state and our nation,” Moore said in a statement. “The fact that these horrific shootings continue is abhorrent. We as a state will continue to do everything possible to prevent senseless acts of violence like the ones we witnessed last night.”
Authorities said it took some time for detectives to process the extensive crime scene.
Worley said that the party was “unsanctioned”, so the police did not know about it in advance. However, some residents said that police had been deployed at the block party in previous years. The event is held every July to celebrate the South Baltimore neighborhood, a mix of modest rowhouses and public housing.
Mel Johnson, who has lived in the neighborhood since 2011, said he was playing cards with a friend when he heard what sounded like fireworks.
Johnson told The Baltimore Sun, “Then it felt different. I saw people running and screaming.”
“It’s a dangerous neighborhood, especially when you’ve got young boys and girls and alcohol,” he said.
Raymer reported from Concord, New Hampshire. Kimberly Crusie in Nashville, Tennessee contributed to this report.