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30 people shot in mass shooting at south Baltimore block party, 2 dead

By Breana Ross, Khiree Stewart, Tommie Clark, Greg Ng, Nathan Trainor

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    BALTIMORE (WBAL) — Two people are dead after as many as 30 people were shot in a mass shooting overnight in Brooklyn while investigators search for the shooters, Baltimore police said.

What happened Acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Rich Worley said during a news conference shortly after 5 a.m. that officers received multiple calls just after 12:30 a.m. for a mass shooting in the 800 block of Gretna Court, where there was a block party underway.

Residents told 11 News there was a large gathering in the neighborhood before they heard what sounded like fireworks, which they later learned were gunshots.

Some residents raised concerns about a lack of patrols in the area during the event, but Worley said the event was not permitted and police were unaware of it taking place until sometime Saturday.

“My job is to investigate and see what our officers did once we figured out that there was a large party,” Worley said.

The victims Worley said officers found an 18-year-old woman dead at the scene. Nine others were taken to hospitals, and as many as 20 others — ranging in age from 13 to 32 — arrived at hospitals across the region on their own.

A 20-year-old man also died, and three others were in critical condition.

Metro Crime Stoppers identified the deceased victims as Aaliyah Gonzalez and Kylis Fagbemi.

Baltimore police released more information about the surviving victims as follows:

One 13-year-old girl and one 13-year-old boy One 14-year-old girl Two 15-year-old girls and one 15-year-old boy Three 16-year-old girls and two 16-year-old boys Two 17-year-old girls and two 17-year-old boys Two 18-year-old women and three 18-year-old men Three 19-year-old women One 20-year-old woman One 22-year-old man One 23-year-old woman One 31-year-old man One 32-year-old woman

The University of Maryland Medical System said it received patients at Shock Trauma as well as others at the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Pediatric Emergency Department.

MedStar reported receiving several patients at Harbor Hospital, some of which were stabilized and transferred to trauma centers. Some patients have been treated and released.

Search for suspects Worley said no suspects are in custody, but that investigators were reviewing video and talking to witnesses to try to identify at least two suspects.

“We do know more than one person was shooting,” Worley said at an afternoon news conference. “We don’t know if they were targeted (shootings) or whether they were shooting indiscriminately up the street.”

As Worley asked the public for videos, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott implored the public to provide information.

“This is an absolute tragedy that did not have to happen,” Scott said. “Anyone that knows anything about what happened here, anything about this mass shooting, come forward with any piece of information. Treat this as if it was your family and how you would want people to treat it as if you were mourning, as if this were an event happening in your community.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 866-7LOCKUP. Metro Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $8,000 for information.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said its special agents, K-9 and task force officers are supporting Baltimore police in the investigation.

Illegal guns in Baltimore City The mayor said the city must wrap its arms around the community, but he also emphasized his concerns about illegal guns in the city.

“This tragic incident is another glaring, unfortunate example of the deep issues of violence in Baltimore and Maryland and this country,” Scott said. “The Baltimore Police Department has seized 1,345 illegal guns that were in the hands of people that should not have them that had them anyway because they’re so easy for them to obtain.”

As remnants of the block party remained strewn across the neighborhood, people are praying for a miracle to end the gun violence.

“I lost my son. (He) walked out of the house and got shot instantly. So, I understand how parents feel right now because I’ve been there,” said Helen Mims, a resident who came to support her friend, who lives in Brooklyn Homes.

Shooting devastates community “I came here in 1992. This is the worst I’ve ever seen it in my whole life,” said Yvonne Booker, a resident of Brooklyn Homes for three decades.

A community was devastated during what was supposed to be a time of celebration after a shooting affected all walks of life — half of the victims were under 18.

“People cannot keep killing each other. I mean, it was a block party,” said Debbie Campbell, a resident who heard the mass shooting. “I kept hearing, ‘Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop,’ and I thought, at first, (it was) fireworks, but it didn’t stop. It just kept going. I was like, ‘This is not right.'”

“It was mostly kids over there last night. I don’t really think there were many adults over there,” said Gayla Wallace, a resident.

Booker said the violence has reached a breaking point.

“It’s kind of hard for me. I’m a mother. They need to stop. It’s too much. I’ve been to so many funerals in this community. It’s too much,” Booker said.

City makes services available The city has brought out resources, including the Peacemobile, which will remain in the area for the next 45 days to help residents.

The mayor’s office said city agencies are offering resources at the Brooklyn Homes Community Center (4140 10th St.) for those affected by the mass shooting. Mental health clinicians and food and water were being made available to residents in need, according to the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement.

Twelve hours after the shooting, a coordinated neighborhood stabilization response permeated Brooklyn to provide healing resources, with a priority on mental health, for the dozens who witnessed it.

“We hope that things could come together for this community because it has been deprived for a long time. It needs help,” said Serita Anderson, a member of Rehoboth Church of Deliverance, who came to bring more resources from her nearby church to the community.

Mayor Brandon Scott releases statement The mayor’s office released a statement, saying: “In the early morning hours of July 2, a horrific mass shooting occurred at Brooklyn Homes in south Baltimore. At this time, two people have been killed and 28 others injured, leaving three people in critical condition. My heart is with those who lost their lives, all those who are now battling injuries, and their loved ones. This community should also know that they have our wholehearted support during this unimaginably difficult time. This act of violence has shaken our city to the very core, and we are all grappling with the shock, pain, and trauma that accompanies such a heinous act of destruction.

“This investigation is ongoing, and we will not rest until the people responsible are held accountable. This tragedy again shows why we must continue to focus on the amount of illegal guns on our streets that make it into the hands of individuals who should not have them and continuously carry out violent acts in our city. There must be accountability at each level of the illegal gun trade from those using them, those trafficking them to those who manufacture them in ways they know will lead to violence. I’m asking that anyone who has information on who committed this cowardly, violent act to come forward and help us secure justice for the Brooklyn community.

“To support residents of south Baltimore during this time, my office has stood up immediate resources in and surrounding the Brooklyn Homes area. Today, the Brooklyn Homes Community Center will serve as a central place for various city agencies to provide residents immediate aid and services.

“My Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE) will immediately begin their work activating a Coordinated Neighborhood Stabilization Response within this community, focused on addressing trauma and stabilizing the neighborhood in partnership with community-based organizations and city agencies.

“In the coming days, our community will undoubtedly be faced with grief, questions, and the need for answers. I assure you that the Baltimore Police Department, MONSE, and every other city agency is working diligently to investigate, engage residents, and keep everyone informed of additional pertinent information when it becomes available.”

Gov. Wes Moore releases statement “Last night, we saw yet another mass shooting strike our community where a celebratory gathering turned deadly. My heart breaks for these victims, their families and the Baltimore community that is coping with the loss.

“Maryland has had enough of watching gun violence continue to ravage our state and our nation. The fact that these horrific shootings continue to take place is abominable. We as a state will continue to do everything we can to prevent senseless acts of violence like the one we saw last night.

“We are grateful for the actions of the first responders who jumped quickly into action and are confident that our law enforcement officials will swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice. My administration is in close touch with local officials and will provide whatever resources are needed to assist.

“To the loved ones of these Marylanders, I am so sorry for your loss. You deserve better and we will work together to bring you just that. You have my word.”

Council President Nick Mosby releases statement “My heart breaks for the lives lost and all affected by the senseless violence that occurred in south Baltimore last evening.

“As Baltimoreans, we must unite to stand against violence in our communities and understand that each and every life in our city is precious, valuable and essential.

“The residents of Brooklyn Park deserve to live in a safe community and not wake up today after what was to be a day of celebration, faced with trauma, pain and loss. All the violence in my beloved city breaks my heart, as I imagine it does yours.

“I implore all those with information that can help police apprehend the perpetrators of this callous act, to please step forward and contact BPD Homicide detectives at 410-396-2100, or if you wish to remain anonymous, call the Metro Crime Stoppers tip line at 866-7LOCKUP.”

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Ivan Bates releases statement “On behalf of the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City (BCSAO), we are profoundly saddened and outraged by the tragic events that unfolded earlier today. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families affected by this senseless violence. But we need more than thoughts and prayers; we need policy and change in Maryland, particularly Baltimore. A policy that helps us hold repeat violent offenders accountable and reduces the number of illegal firearms in our communities.

“A mass shooting occurred in our city, resulting in the injury of 30 individuals and the loss of at least two innocent lives. This shocking incident could have happened to any of us celebrating in our communities this holiday weekend. The immense pain and grief felt throughout our city today is palpable. My office and I stand with those impacted by this tragedy and offer our support in any way we can.

“Our homicide prosecutors have been in close contact with BPD detectives and are providing support and assistance as needed. Additionally, our Victim/Witness coordinators and Community Engagement Team are canvassing the community to ensure residents are aware of available resources and how to access them.

“We must unite as a city and support one another in such times. I encourage anyone affected by this tragedy to reach out for assistance, whether it is emotional support, counseling, or any other form of help they may require. My office will collaborate with local organizations and coordinate resources to provide the necessary support, including relocation support. I call upon the public to provide authorities with any information about this tragic event. If you have information about this shooting, contact BPD homicide detectives. Those who wish to remain anonymous can use the Metro Crime Stoppers tip line at 866-7LOCKUP.”

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