BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office and police department teamed up Wednesday to announce a new task force that will target violent, repeat gun offenders.
The announcement comes the same week three 16-year-olds were shot. So far this year, there’s been close to 500 shootings in the city.
City leaders believe it’s the same small group of criminals who commit these brazen crimes.
Crime scenes that have become all too familiar. Gunfire that even our future generation has become accustomed to.
“The kids don’t duck and run anymore, they hear gunshots and it’s a normal sound,” said Ericka Alston-Buck, founder of Kids Safe Zone in west Baltimore.
Baltimore City leaders say the violence is out of control.
“It’s time for us to ask ourselves what are we doing about it?” said Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore City State’s Attorney.
The youngest victims so far this year were four and six. A total of 445 shootings across the city and 177 were fatal.
“We know who the trigger pullers are, now let’s go after them,” said Mosby. “We’ve identified 602 individuals on the trigger pull list and have narrowed that list down to monitor the top defenders in every district on a rolling basis.”
The unit is made up of an “all-star team” of prosecutors and detectives and will be used to arrest, charge and convict those pulling the trigger.
“We think it will result in better quality prosecutions and we think it will have better outcomes for our entire community,” said Kevin Davis, Baltimore Police Commissioner.
Just days ago, Public Enemy # 1, 31-year-old Marion Daughton–who was captured–had previous gun charges, but police say made it back on the streets to shoot and kill.
“Someone is dead, someone is finally arrested and then we get to see the rap sheet of this person, and the first question we all ask is why was that person on the street?” said Alston-Buck.
Alston’s optimistic about the new division and says now is the time to try something different.
“Whatever we can do to get these guns off the street is a step in the right direction.”
The prosecutors and detectives that will make up this team have not been publicly announced yet. Police say the plan is for the division to start very soon. Mosby says a 20 percent rise in homicide cases and only a 22 percent clearance rate for non-fatal shootings are just a few reasons for the collaborative effort.