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2 people were killed and 28 wounded in a mass shooting at a Baltimore block party

<i>Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images</i><br/>A view from the scene of a mass shooting incident at the 800 block of Gretna Court in Baltimore
Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
A view from the scene of a mass shooting incident at the 800 block of Gretna Court in Baltimore

By Melissa Alonso, Sophie Tanno, Christina Maxouris and Lauren Mascarenhas, CNN

(CNN) — An 18-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man were killed and 28 others injured in a mass shooting at a Baltimore block party, officials said.

All 30 of the victims had gunshot wounds, Baltimore Police Acting Commissioner Richard Worley said in a Sunday afternoon news conference. Their ages range between 13 and 32 years old, Worley added.

The two people killed were identified by Baltimore police as 18-year-old Aaliyah Gonzales and 20-year-old Kylis Fagbemi.

Of those injured, 15 were younger than 18 years old, according to Sunday night news release from police.

Nine of those injured remained in nearby hospitals “in various conditions” Sunday afternoon, the commissioner added.

Investigators continue to scour the large crime scene – which spans multiple blocks – and officials urged anyone with information or who may have captured video footage, including from security cameras, to come forward.

There were “at least two” people who opened fire during the shooting, but authorities are investigating there may have been more, Worley said. Authorities have not shared information about a potential motive.

“All we know right now is that we had multiple (shooters) open fire on a large crowd of people who were out during the block party. We don’t know if they were targeted or if (the shooters) were just shooting indiscriminately down the street,” Worley said.

The violence marks yet another instance during which a celebration turned into a tragedy, with lives lost and others permanently altered. And it’s a reminder of the deadly consequences of firearms getting into the wrong hands, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said in the Sunday afternoon news conference.

“This was a reckless, cowardly act of violence that has taken two lives and altered many, many more,” the mayor said. “This tragic incident is another glaring, unfortunate example of the deep issues of violence in Baltimore, in Maryland and this country and particularly gun violence and the access to illegal guns.”

Just two days into the month, this is one of three mass shootings in July and one of 338 mass shootings in the US in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

Amid a celebration, gunshots rang out

Police received multiple calls after 12:30 a.m., and arrived to find one woman dead and multiple other people suffering from gunshot wounds, Worley said earlier Sunday.

The 18-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene and the 20-year-old was pronounced dead at a hospital, police said.

Scott said the block party was in celebration of Baltimore’s Brooklyn neighborhood, which he described as a working-class neighborhood filled with immense pride.

“It’s an event that happens in Brooklyn every year,” he told CNN’s Victor Blackwell and Amara Walker. “Folks were out there having a celebration and then at some point, gunshots rang out and folks of course were trying to get away, get out of there.”

Scott’s office is distributing letters offering community-based services for residents in the Brooklyn Homes area, which he described as a public housing facility.

“It is a neighborhood that has had its troubles, but a neighborhood that has seen some folks in that community really determined to see it be successful and see things turn around,” he added.

Baltimore City Councilwoman Phylicia Porter described the area where the shooting unfolded as a marginalized community, with high unemployment and violent crime rates.

“Brooklyn has forever and always been a neglected community. This is not the time for us to forget them now, this is the time for us to come together and stand in solidarity with them,” Porter said in the afternoon news conference.

The event took place without a permit and authorities are also now investigating when police were made aware of the party and whether there were any officers present prior to the shooting, Worley said.

“If we made mistakes, we will fix them and move forward so it never happens again, but again, we did not know that this event was occurring,” he said.

‘We will not stop until we find you’

Earlier, Scott said the tragedy “highlights the impacts and the need to deal with the overproliferation of illegal guns on our streets and the ability for those who should not have them to get their hands on them.”

The mayor also said he is mobilizing every resource available to assist the investigation.

His message to the perpetrator was simple: “We will not stop until we find you – and we will find you.”

“Until then, I hope with every single breath that you take that you think about the lives that you took and you think about the lives that you impacted here tonight,” he added.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said his administration is in touch with local officials and ready to provide assistance.

“Maryland has had enough of watching gun violence continue to ravage our state and our nation,” Moore said in a statement. “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.”

The National Rifle Association sued Moore after he signed the Gun Safety Act of 2023 and other gun safety measures into law in May, court documents show.

The-CNN-Wire
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CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian, Joe Sutton, Zenebou Sylla and Gloria Pazmino contributed to this report.

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