Man murder in Baltimore hours after mayor, police tout drop in crime rates in Baltimore

BALTIMORE - Baltimore City’s latest murder came just hours after the mayor and police commissioner visited a neighborhood to highlight progress in the fight against crime.

Shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday, police responded to reports of a gun being fired along Spaulding Avenue in Northwest Baltimore.

They found a man on the ground in front of a small apartment building, shot in the head at least once .  He died at the scene.

“Our detectives are actively gathering evidence, speaking to witnesses and trying to find out all of the circumstances surrounding this case,” said Sgt. Jarron Jackson of the Baltimore Police Department.

They are also trying to find out whether surveillance cameras in the area caught any video of a suspect.

Spaulding Avenue is just one block south of Pimlico Racecourse, and it is lined with rowhouses that feature front porches where on a hot day dozens of people might have been outside at the time of the shooting.

Just hours earlier, the mayor and the police commissioner held a news conference, touting a drop in crime over the first six months of 2014 .

They say that's happened because they're getting more help from the community.

“We've had a dramatic increase in the amount of information that we are getting from our community members,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Reducing violence, she said, remains the top priority of her administration.

The police commissioner said their plan to get tough on criminals and their associates is also paying off.

“If there is violence that takes place in this city, we go after that person who was responsible but not just that person who is a violent repeat offender, we go after all of his or her associated that surround them and we put pressure on the entire group,” said police commissioner Anthony Batts.

At the news conference the commissioner said so far there have been 17 fewer murders than at this time last year.  Hours later that number was down to 16.

City police have not released the name of the victim of that murder near Pimlico, and they say they do not have any suspects.

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