BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Curbing violent crime continues to be a priority in the city. Baltimore saw an eight percent increase in the murder rate last year, and there have been six homicides in the first four days of June.

Pat Warren has more on how these numbers play in the primary race for Baltimore City state’s attorney.

Residents in Pimlico…

“I was out back. I heard all these shots. And then I saw helicopters and I thought, ‘OK. Here we go again,'” said Robin Gibbs.

Residents in Curtis Bay…

“Three people ran in the garage, saying, ‘They’re shooting at us! They’re shooting at us! Close the doors,'” one man said.

Violence throughout the city has residents on edge and the city state’s attorney’s office targeting those most likely to commit these crimes.

“Violent repeat offenders who are responsible for most of the violence that we see in the city. And the major investigation unit’s been very successful in convicting about 200 of these serious violent felons,” said Gregg Bernstein, Baltimore City State’s Attorney.

“When you turn on your news and when you open up your newspaper, do you feel safer? I don’t. I don’t have to turn on the news and open up the newspaper. All I have to do is open up the door,” said Marilyn Mosby, (D) candidate for city state’s attorney.

Former Baltimore Commissioner Fred Bealefeld is endorsing Gregg Bernstein’s bid for re-election in the Democratic primary for city state’s attorney, along with active community members.

Former Congressman Kweisi Mfume is supporting challenger and former prosecutor Marilyn Mosby as the person the city needs to lead the city state’s attorney’s office.

“I live in the heart of West Baltimore. And the violence plaguing our communities has everything to do with violent repeat offenders that the state’s attorney’s office is simply not convicting,” said Mosby.

Both candidates agree that more needs to be done.

“I’m still very frustrated about it. It’s the single thing that keeps me awake at night,” said Bernstein.

The candidates are each committed to protecting the interests of victims and witnesses in their crime-fighting efforts.

“And recognizing that we are the home of witness intimidation where the ‘stop snitching’ mentality began. Our priorities should be on victims and witnesses,” said Mosby.

“I think we need to keep our foot on the gas so-to-speak to stay focused on the violent crime,” Bernstein said.

It’s certainly the focus of the neighborhoods affected by it.

This is the only primary in the city state’s attorney race.

Primary election day is June 24.

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