Baltimore police concerned with the pace of shootings

BALTIMORE - Another Baltimore City street is stained by the violence.

"Soon we're not even going to be able to walk out of our doors," said Toya Graham, a witness. 

Neighbors on Wilern Avenue said it's tough to shake what they heard and what they saw overnight. 

"I heard three shots and a car spinning off.  Then I heard the two girls hollering," said Dollie Frazier, who has lived in her northwest neighborhood since 1965.    

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She didn't recognize the victim on the ground and neither did Graham, who woke up and made sure her six children were safe.

"A couple of young ladies kept towels on his wounds," said Graham. 

But police said the man died before paramedics could rush him to the hospital.  Another gunshot victim was found shot less than a mile away on Cold Spring Avenue.  He survived. 

Police learned both men were shot on Wilern.

"We're obviously really concerned about the pace of violence right now.  It's unacceptable," said Acting Capt. Eric Kowalczyk, a Baltimore police spokesman.

The two overnight shootings get logged in the month of August.  But looking at the final week of July, there were 28 shooting victims, of which four died.  The number tripled compared to the same week last year.

"We're using the analytical intelligence that we have in conjunction with increased enforcement activity in the neighborhoods, increase patrol.  We are going to have commanders out on the streets this weekend," said Kowalczyk.

Frazier points to the boarded up homes as one reason for the crime landing in her neighborhood.  Otherwise, she said it's quiet.

But neighbors now have reminders beyond their own memory.  Evidence markers are close to the last sign of life for the latest shooting victim.  Graham says she couldn't go to work on Friday.

"That was somebody's child, and it's real overwhelming that somebody takes somebody's life like that and he was just left there," said Graham.  

The recent spike will put police in the most violent neighborhoods, which by our count, is the city’s West side.   

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