By Greg Ng and Tommie Clark
BALTIMORE, Maryland (WBAL) — Following a mass shooting in Baltimore that left two people dead and 28 others injured — among them 15 minors — the mayor said the focus needs to intensify on illegal guns.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said it’s important to focus on how the shooter(s) got access to their weapons and why they opened fire on a group of hundreds of people who were gathering peacefully.
“You’re talking about a country where it’s easier for a 14-year-old kid to order pieces together, to put a gun together and go out and use it and commit a crime than it is for me to get Claritin D from CVS. That’s what we should be talking about every day in this country until those folks take action, because I could stand up her and talk about back-and-forth stuff that they like to do with partisan politics when they say, ‘Oh, the violence is happening in Democrat-led cities,’ or, ‘The guns are coming from Republican-led states.’ But who cares? People are dying in Baltimore and the United States, and that’s what should matter and that’s what we should be acting on every day,” Scott said.
On Sunday, the mayor pointed to the number of guns police have seized from the streets, saying: “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.
“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.
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