BALTIMORE (WJZ)— One man is dead and an 11-year-old boy was wounded after the latest incident of violence in a crime-ridden neighborhood of West Baltimore.
Derek Valcourt explains police say two men have been charged in the case.
Just after 9:20 p.m. Monday, an 11-year-old boy came running up to officers who were on foot patrol along North Avenue, telling them he had been shot and saying another person was also shot inside a home at North Bentalou Street. That person–who sources say was the boy’s father–died at the hospital. It’s the latest example of the increase of violence in a West Baltimore neighborhood already too familiar with it.
“People are scared to walk the streets and we need some help,” said Rev. Keith Bailey.
To that end, the police commissioner ordered extra officer foot patrols and has assigned most new recruits to work in West Baltimore.
“What we’re trying to do is not only address it short term by putting more resources here, but long term also and trying to identify what the problems and the issues are and to organize this community,” said Commissioner Anthony Batts.
“It’s really troublesome that we’ve had this spike, this increase,” said Rev. Albert Merritt.
Local church leaders are now trying to organize a community response to the surge in violence, including community meetings and prayer walks.
“Sometimes it takes something like this to get people motivated to do something,” said Merritt.
Many community leaders say the solution must also be long-term.
“We want to see some more jobs in the area of West Baltimore, some re-entry programs for the people who are coming out of prison so that they have something constructive and productive to do,” said Rev. Bob Washington.
Meanwhile, police say as they put more officers into the streets, they’re seeing many crimes move indoors — inside homes — like the shooting that happened Monday night.
The two men arrested for Monday night’s shooting are John Knox, 22, and Joseph Oglesby, 37. They now face a slew of charges, including first-degree murder and attempted murder.
The number of homicides in Baltimore is up this year. Right now they stand at 51. But police report overall gun violence and the number of non-fatal shootings is down from last year.