BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Police are on a manhunt for the person they believe killed two people Saturday morning by starting a house fire, calling him “Public Enemy Number One.” It’s all part of a fast-moving arson investigation on Baltimore’s east side.
Police tell WJZ they believe this was an act of retaliatory violence, which isn’t uncommon in Baltimore — but they say this could have been much worse.
A recorded cell phone video of the fire is painful to watch, as it shows flames consuming a Northeast Baltimore home on the 1200 block of Greenmount Ave, after it was firebombed around 5 a.m. Saturday morning.
Eight people were inside, of whom two teenage boys killed, and six others hurt.
Two of the injured were kids and a 20-year-old woman who leaped for her life from the third floor.
Baltimore Police tell WJZ it was no accident.
“Right now, we know that this was a deliberately set fire. And the individuals that were inside the home were apparently targeted,” says T.J. Smith with Baltimore Police.
Police have pinned 26-year-old Antonio Wright as the man responsible.
Now, police says Wright is Public Enemy Number One and is wanted for murder, accused of throwing two Molotov Cocktails.
Shots were fired on this block just two days ago. Police say a victim ran inside this house and the arson soon after may not have been a coincidence.
“The bigger problem is some of these psychopathic predators that are out there, killing people. Whoever did this potentially could have killed 8 people,” says Smith.
The two who died in this blaze are young men in their late teens, while five people, from 4 to 38 years old had minor injuries.
The 20-year-old who jumped nearly 30 feet is fighting for her life.
Mayor Catherine Pugh expressing her frustration.
“I just don’t know why we want to do these kinds of things. But more importantly, I just need Baltimoreans to take care of each other,” she says.
Neighbors who watched this tragedy unfold are too afraid to speak on camera, fearing they might be the next target, as the search for suspect Antonio Wright continues.
Anyone with information on Antonio Wright’s whereabouts are asked to call police.
The names of the eight victims have not been released.