An 18-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man were killed and 28 others injured in a mass shooting at a Baltimore block party, officials said.
Acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley said at a Sunday afternoon news conference that all 30 victims had gunshot wounds. Their age ranged from 13 to 32, Worli said.
The two people killed have been identified by Baltimore police as 18-year-old Alia Gonzales and 20-year-old Kylis Fagbemi.
As of Sunday night, 15 of the injured were under the age of 18. News release from the police.
The commissioner said nine of the injured remained admitted to nearby hospitals “in various conditions” on Sunday afternoon.
Investigators continue to inspect the large crime scene – which spans several blocks – and authorities are urging anyone with information or video footage, including from security cameras, to come forward.
Worley said there were “at least two” people who fired shots during the shooting, but authorities are investigating whether there could be more. Authorities have not shared details about a possible motive.
“All we know right now is that we had several (shooters) open fire on a large crowd of people who came out during the block party. We do not know whether they were targeted or whether (the shooters) were firing indiscriminately on the road,” Worli said.
The violence is another instance during which a celebration turned into a tragedy, with many lives lost and others permanently altered. And it’s a stark reminder of the deadly consequences of firearms getting into the wrong hands, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said at a Sunday afternoon news conference.
The mayor said, “It was a reckless, cowardly act of violence that took two lives and changed many lives.” “This tragic incident is another horrific, unfortunate example of the deeper issues of violence and especially gun violence and access to illegal guns in Baltimore, Maryland and this country.”
On just two days a month, it is one of three mass shootings in July and one of 338 mass shootings in the US in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Worli had said earlier on Sunday that the police received several calls after 12.30 am and reached there and found a woman dead and several others suffering from gunshot wounds.
Police said the 18-year-old youth was declared brought dead on the spot and the 20-year-old youth was declared brought dead at the hospital.
Scott said the block party was in celebration of the Brooklyn neighborhood of Baltimore, which he described as a proud working-class neighborhood.
“It’s a phenomenon that happens every year in Brooklyn,” he told CNN’s Victor Blackwell and Amara Walker. “People were out there celebrating and then at some point there was gunshots and people were definitely trying to get away, get out of there.”
scott’s office is distributing visiting cards community-based services Brooklyn Homes for residents of the area, which he described as a public housing facility.
He added, “It’s a neighborhood that has its own problems, but a neighborhood that has seen some people in that community really determined to see it succeed and see things change.”
Baltimore City Councilwoman Phylicia Porter described the area where the shooting occurred as a marginalized community with high unemployment and violent crime rates.
“Brooklyn has always been an underserved community. This is not a time for us to forget them, it is a time for us to come together and stand in solidarity with them, Porter said at an afternoon news conference.
Worley said the event took place without permission and authorities are now investigating when police were informed about the party and whether any officers were present before the shooting.
“If we’ve made mistakes, we’ll correct them and move on so it doesn’t happen again, but even then, we didn’t know this incident was happening,” he said.
Earlier, Scott said the tragedy “highlights the effects of the excessive proliferation of illegal guns on our streets and the need to deal with it and the potential of those who should not have these guns.”
The mayor also said he is using every resource available to assist with the investigation.
His message to the criminal was simple: “We won’t stop until we find you – and we will find you.”
“Until then, I hope that with every breath that you take, you will think about the lives that you took and the lives that you affected here tonight,” he said.
Maryland Governor Wes Moore said his administration is in contact with local officials and stands ready to provide assistance.
“Maryland has seen gun violence continue to ravage our state and our country,” 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.
The National Rifle Association sued Moore after he signed the Gun Safety Act of 2023 and other gun safety measures in May, court documents show.