For the first time in nearly 20 years, Baltimore reached 100 homicides for the year before the end of the April, the Baltimore Sun reports. Three new cases yesterday pushed the number of victims counted for 2017 to 101. Among them was a fatal shooting near the downtown Inner Harbor before daybreak Monday. In the afternoon, a man was gunned down in East Baltimore, in the same block as a new senior center that was rebuilt after it burned while under construction during rioting two years ago. “We have to engage this community or it’s going to continue to be a bloodbath,” said the Rev. Donte Hickman, whose Southern Baptist Church built the $16 million center.
The city, which experienced record-high per-capita murder rates the past two years, had not seen 100 homicides before the end of April since 1998. Just three years ago, it took until July 4 for the city to record 100 killings. Homicides are up more than 34 percent compared to the same time last year, and non-fatal shootings are up 27 percent. The downtown shooting occurred around 4:30 a.m. at Calvert and Lombard Streets. Witnesses said they heard four gunshots. The intersection is one of the busiest in the downtown area.