Baltimore marks 300th and 301st homicides of 2022; mayor laments staggering loss of life

Lilly Price
The Baltimore Sun (TNS)

For the eighth year in a row, Baltimore has reached 300 homicides.

The city reached and then surpassed the grim milestone last weekend when a 34-year-old was shot just before 10:30 p.m. Saturday in South Baltimore’s Cherry Hill neighborhood. He later died at a hospital, and police have not yet identified him.

On Sunday afternoon, a 25-year-old man was shot and killed in Millhill in Southwest Baltimore, marking the 301st homicide of the year. Officers responded about 4:30 p.m. and found the man, who has not yet been identified. Police said he died at the scene.

The homicide rate tracks similarly to last year’s — the city reached 300 homicides Nov. 18, 2021.

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Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott called for stricter gun laws after the city recorded its 300th homicide for the eighth year in a row. (Dreamstime/TNS)

The overwhelming majority of this year’s homicides were Black men who were shot, according to data compiled by The Baltimore Sun. These fatal shootings were concentrated in the Eastern, Northwestern, Northeastern, Southern, Southwest and Western police districts.

Mayor Brandon Scott, who has made anti-violence work central to his mayoral platform, lamented the staggering and continual loss of life.

“I have long said that my main priority as Mayor is to strengthen public safety and create a Baltimore where people can walk to or from school or sit with family or friends on their front porch or in a parked car without fear of being caught in the crossfire of a hail of bullets,” Scott said in a statement Sunday before the afternoon homicide.

“For each and every victim of violence there are loved ones whose lives are forever changed. My heart aches for them all and I will continue to work with local, state and federal leaders to see that Baltimore and its people know that we are doing everything possible to create the safe and welcoming communities that we all deserve.”

Anti-violence efforts in the city have been ongoing.

In September, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement said it would expand services to gunshot victims during their hospital stays and would consolidate operation of the city’s Safe Streets program, which employs and trains “violence interrupters.”

Scott pointed to the ease with which people can obtain illegal guns from other states as “a catalyst for violence in our streets” and emphasized the need for stricter gun laws. Scott said in a statement that neither he nor the Baltimore Police Department could alone reduce the city’s homicide rate.

“We need stricter gun laws that keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of individuals who are reckless and irresponsible,” he said. “We need a justice system that will hold those who commit these acts accountable and see that they serve time for what they’ve done. We need community members to work together to support young people and help them see there are other ways to resolve conflict other than violence.”

The number of nonfatal shootings is similar to last year’s, too. On Friday morning, the city had a total of 633 nonfatal shootings, just one fewer than last year at this time, according to police.

More than 1 in 8 victims of gun violence taken to hospitals in Baltimore and surrounding counties involved children 10 to 19 years old, an analysis of five years of hospital data by The Sun found.

— Baltimore Sun reporter Cassidy Jensen contributed to this report.