Homicides in Baltimore returned to a record pace last month as the city recorded its highest-ever number of killings through September and two more men were gunned down Monday morning in separate incidents, the Baltimore Sun reports. Through September, 266 people have been killed in the city, exceeding the 262 people killed during the same period in 1992, when the city had 100,000 more residents. September ended with 31 homicides, the fifth time this year that the city has had more than 30 people killed in a month. Between 2008 and 2014, the city never recorded 30 victims in a single month.
Baltimore’s leaders said they plan to stick with their earlier plan for tackling the violence, believing it will ultimately bring the homicide rate down. Mayor Catherine Pugh said the strategy involves working with police to get more officers out on the streets in the short term and creating more educational and economic opportunities for city residents in the long term. “With all of that, I believe that time will tell the story that Baltimore’s violence has been reduced,” Pugh said. Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said police have been analyzing the most recent homicides, which took place across the city, but “are not seeing a new trend or pattern” and do not believe the killings are related. Known motives in the crimes “run the gamut from a domestic dispute to a robbery, drug dispute, dispute over a dice game,” he said.