BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s a grim New Year’s Day tradition in Baltimore.
Families of murder victims gather to read the names of those killed in the last 365 days.
Baltimore ended 2018 with 309 murders in the city, down from 342 in 2017.
The lists starts with a 16-year-old and ends with a 17-year-old who was killed a couple of hours before the new year.
The teen was shot around 10:03 p.m. on New Year’s Eve in the 4500 block of Green Rose Lane.
Every year, families and community activists gather on New Year’s Day to read the names of the city’s murder victims.
“His favorite words to me, even when I had to reprimand him, was “mom, I love you.” So, I miss that dearly,” said Cynthia Bruce, who lost her son in 2015.
Someone gunned down 23-year-old Marcus doors down from his grandmother’s house.
His killer was never arrested
“These young people just need to put the guns down, because they would never know what my family is going through. It’s a pain you cannot describe,” Bruce said.
And as the yellow tape went up again on the final day of 2018, investigators search for clues in the shooting death of the 17-year-old.
Police were still on the scene in East Baltimore, while revelers gathered downtown.
Mayor Catherine Pugh was at the Inner Harbor and told WJZ she’s entering 2019 with a continued focus on the violence that plagues Charm City.
“Let’s lean in,” Pugh said. “Let’s get these illegal guns off the streets. Let’s keep driving crime downward.”
Police said a man shot in 2007 is also on the list. He died in November as a result of that shooting.
There were seven shootings total overnight. A 14-year-old was also grazed by a bullet just after the new year and just steps away from the Inner Harbor celebration.