BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The calls for peace continue after two men were shot and killed on Saturday, putting an end to a Baltimore City Cease Fre that was supposed to last 72 hours.
Several Cease Fire events drew large crowds on Sunday.
The Cease Fire did not reach the goal: an entire weekend without homicides. However, many in the community still came out and called the effort a success.
With their hands joined together, Baltimore City residents, stand against a murder rate that continues to skyrocket, despite a ceasefire calling for a murder-free weekend.
“There’s just too much stuff going on, too many lives are being lost and we just gotta give each other hope,” says Marvin McDowell, who attended the prayer vigil.
Dozens took to the streets of Baltimore, spreading their message of peace, even after two deadly shootings, dismantled hopes of a successful Cease Fire calling for 3 days without murders in Baltimore.
“It’s good for people to know the better things that we’re actually trying to do to bring Baltimore up,” says Amaya Murillo, attended the prayer vigil.
Community activists and members spent the week urging shooters to hold their fire for 72-hours in an effort to turn the tide on the city’s skyrocketing homicide rate, which reached 210 murders on Saturday.
“I choose to focus on the fact that we got an A+ on the effort. An A+ on the bringing together of people,” says Shameeka Dream, Community Activist.
During one prayer vigil, police had to restrain a man who tried to disrupt the event.
Instead of letting hostility and fear take over, the crowd decided to stay here and pray for Baltimore and call for peace.
Mayor Catherine Pugh expressed support for the community-led effort.
“This city needs prayer. It needs love. It needs people who care about this city,” says Mayor Pugh.
In a statement released on Sunday, Mayor Pugh said:
“I commend the citizen-driven Ceasefire call this weekend. The power to change our city rests in our hands. We have all heard the painful cries of the mothers, fathers, husbands, and wives as they have mourned loved ones to violence. This movement must continue and it will take each one of us doing our part to reaffirm the value of human life. We can do this together.”
Whether remembering those killed this year or calling on a higher power, communities are more determined than ever.
“We had an uprising. Now they got to see us rise up,” says Cease Fire organizer, Errick Bridgeford.
To end the violence that’s claiming so many lives.
Baltimore City Police Commissioner Kevin Davis issued a statement on the community’s efforts:
“We are proud of the grassroots efforts this weekend with the Baltimore Ceasefire. This has been a great conversation starter and momentum builder.
Hopefully, everyone who participated in events around the Baltimore Ceasefire will use this as energy to continue to move forward to do their part in driving down violence in our city.
Public safety is the responsibility of all of us and it’s been a beautiful sight to see so many people engaged for a better and safer Baltimore.
Our resilience will be a model for cities across the country. It takes all of us to affect change.
We look forward to additional events in the future. Success is measured on sustainability, not instantaneous results.”
City state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby joined crowds Sunday and continued the calls for peace despite not reaching their goal of a weekend without bloodshed, by reading the names of those who lost their lives this year.
So far there have been no arrests in the city’s two latest murders.