BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The mayor says Baltimore is part of a nationwide trend of increasing murder numbers. And we are learning more about the troubled story of one of the more than 200 people killed this year.
WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren with a young victim’s tragic end.
He was one of the three teenagers shot and killed near a playground in north Baltimore last week, and was part of a national cable television program aimed at turning troubled kids around.
Friends and family confirm one of Baltimore’s latest murder victims, Franklin Morris, was featured on the A&E show Beyond Scared Straight three years ago, where those around him warned then he was headed for trouble.
“My mother says I’m either going to end up dead or in jail. I really don’t pay her no mind,” he said on the show.
He ended up dead — gunned down on the same street near York and Cold Spring that he walked on the program.
Morris was shot in the head, along with 19-year-old Marquise Caldwell and 17-year-old Tyrik Adams, right near a playground. He’s now part of Baltimore’s surge in violence.
While some trace it to issues with policing following Freddie Gray, the mayor said Tuesday in the past two weeks, arrests have surpassed last year’s. She points to something else.
“There’s a national trend with the increased number of homicides in our country,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said.
Milwaukee, Saint Louis, New Orleans, New York and Washington D.C. all have seen double digit increases.
“It’s a national uptick in crime. And that’s not an excuse as we sit here in Baltimore. We all want instant gratification. We want right now for everything to stop,” said T.J. Smith, Baltimore City Police Department.
But some West Coast cities like Los Angeles are not seeing more murders — nothing like Baltimore, where last month’s record 45 killings more than doubled the 22 last July.
For Franklin, it’s too late — another young person who fell victim to the city’s brutal streets.
The mayor told WJZ Tuesday police have good information about the suspect accused of shooting a firefighter while he was on duty last week and that she does expect an arrest in that case soon.