Baltimore block party shooting victims include more than a dozen minors, police say

Jul 05, 2023

BALTIMORE (AP) — Gunfire erupted at a block party in Baltimore on Sunday — killing two people, wounding 28 and leaving an extensive crime scene that marred the U.S. holiday weekend, police said. Three of the wounded were in critical condition and more than a dozen were under 18.

The shooting took place just after 12:30 a.m. when at least two people opened fire at a block party in the Brooklyn Homes area in the southern part of the city, said Richard Worley, Baltimore’s acting police commissioner. No arrests had been made by late afternoon. It wasn’t clear if the shooting was targeted or random, Worley said.

The shooting comes amid gatherings around the country leading up to the July Fourth holiday. Elsewhere, a shooting in Kansas left seven people with gunshot wounds and two more victims hospitalized after being trampled as people rushed out of a nightclub early Sunday morning, police there said.

The violence in Baltimore occurred as federal prosecutors there this week touted their efforts to reduce violent crime in the city. Police have reported nearly 130 homicides and close to 300 shootings so far this year, though that’s down from the same time last year. Authorities have vowed to crack down aggressively on repeat violent offenders.

Nine of Sunday’s victims were taken by ambulance and 20 walked into area hospitals with injuries from the shooting, Worley said. Nine remained hospitalized Sunday afternoon.

The deceased victims were identified as 18-year-old Aaliyah Gonzalez and 20-year-old Kylis Fagbemi, police said Sunday. Gonzalez died at the scene, and Fagbemi died at the hospital. The 28 injured ranged in age from 13 to 32, with more than half of them being younger than 18, officials said.

“I want those who are responsible to hear me, and hear me very clearly,” Mayor Brandon Scott said at the scene. “We will not stop until we find you, and we will find you. Until then, I hope that every single breath you take, that you think about the lives that you took, think about the lives that you impacted here tonight.”

Scott asked anyone with information to come forward to help investigators locate the “cowards” who were responsible for the shooting.

Gov. Wes Moore said his “heart breaks for these victims, their families, and the Baltimore community that is coping with the loss.”

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