BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Friday evening’s commute down Edmondson Avenue was perhaps a little louder than usual.
The corner of Edgewood street joy and hope was flourishing with the kickoff off Baltimore’s fifth ceasefire, but things got off to a rocky start after a non-fatal shooting in east Baltimore earlier Friday evening. However, organizers are still confident the bloodshed will end.
“We want everybody in Baltimore to live, it’s pretty simple,” Letrice Gant said.
Community members like Letrice Gant are hopeful that for the next 72 hours no one will be killed on the streets of the city.
“We look forward the day when we don’t have to call a cease-fire because celebrating life Is what we do every single day,” Gant said.
It’s been one year since the first cease-fire was held. During the last four, a total of three people were killed.
“Baltimoreans put in this work all year round, every three months injecting love, injecting hope, injecting action into this city,” Organizer Erricka Bridgeford said.
Bridgeford believes the message may be starting to sink in, despite what some critics say.
“When this first started some people laughed, they thought it was a crazy idea. People still laughing, some people are still laughing yeah, but it’s okay. I think people are entitled to their hopelessness,” Bridgeford said.
As of Friday—there have been 168 murders in the city, about 20 percent less than this time last year.
That includes the murder of 7-year-old Taylor Hayes in July. The second-grader was shot in the back while riding in the backseat of a car. The case remains unsolved.
“Everybody says they are here for Taylor, everybody want something to be done, tell, step up and tell what happened to Taylor,” Ebony Ward, Taylor’s cousin said.
Baltimore City Police say nonfatal shootings are also down.
Yet, shortly, after the kickoff of this ceasefire began, a man was shot in the arms and legs in east Baltimore
Cease-fire organizers said there will come a day when incidents like these will be a thing of the past.
“This city deserves joy and we deserve to celebrate life as much as we want to,” Bridgeford said.
To find all cease-fire events for the weekend, check out the event’s website.