BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A young child is killed in a double shooting in Southwest Baltimore, just as another young victim is released from the hospital with a bullet still in his leg. Baltimore’s crime spike has gotten even more dangerous.
Christie Ileto has the growing fears.
Residents fear children once believed to be off-limits are now fair game for criminals.
No one is immune to the sound of losing a child. In Southwest Baltimore, a seven-year-old and his mother are shot in the head — the latest causalities of gun violence sweeping the city.
This week, children are becoming collateral damage.
“I was playing basketball, and then they just started shooting,” said nine-year-old Eli Ebron.
Across town, police say nine-year-old Eli was not the intended target.
“I watched him run up the street, and then I seen him when he did like that, and I seen him when he got hit.” Eli’s mother, Brenda Murphy, said.
Baltimore’s homicides swell to 38 this month — totaling 111 to date.
Homicides are up, police arrests down. So why are we seeing this sudden surge in violent crime?
The police union says criminals are taking advantage of the situation following the riot and that officers are afraid of going to jail for doing their job.
“The criminals are taking advantage of the situation in Baltimore since the unrest. Criminals feel empowered now. There is no respect. Police are under siege in every quarter. They are more afraid of going to jail for doing their jobs properly than they are of getting shot on duty. Right now they can go to jail for following Supreme Court decisions such as Illinois v. Wardlow. The Baltimore States Attorney’s Office essentially overturned the Supreme Court’s decision. We hope that all leadership will come together to support the police to move the community forward.”
“People are doing what they want to do now because they feel that police are not going to come right away like they normally come,” said Rev. Keith Bailey, Fulton Heights Community Association.
“Arrests have to go up, quick trials have to occur,” said Baltimore City Councilman William “Pete” Welch. “And we have to make an example of these people who are perpetuating the violence.”
But fear is already setting in.
“He can’t go out there and play like he’s supposed to, he can’t be safe in his neighborhood,” said Murphy.
The harsh reality for so many of Baltimore’s innocents — caught in the cross fire.
“When you have your innocence at risk, something different has to be done,” said Councilman Welch. “And I’m scared — not just the fact that he was struck by bullets, but all those other children who now have fear in their hearts that they can’t walk down the streets or go to school.”
“There’s no more I can say, but it needs to stop. It needs to stop,” said Murphy. “Ain’t no more I can do. It’s going to keep going on and going on until somebody, they do something. It’s terrible. Get the guns off the streets.”
Ebron still has a bullet lodged in his kneecap. Doctors are waiting for that bullet to move towards soft tissue before they can remove it.
The family is asking for help covering the cost of his medical bills.