By Mike Hellgren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Leaders in Baltimore are desperate to stop the violence, and the first-ever study of Baltimore’s grassroots Ceasefire events finds they are effective in doing that.

University of Maryland School of Medicine research found shootings are down by 52 percent during Ceasefire weekends.

WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren spoke to Dr. Peter Phalen. Phalen obtained data from more than seven years—January 2010 through July of 2019.
During that time, there were 6,024 shootings in the city.

The study found—during Ceasefire weekends, which have been held since 2017—the shootings dropped by more than half. The American Journal of Public Health published his research.

“There’s definitely a sense that we all have a responsibility to stop violence,” Dr. Phalen said of the grassroots Ceasefire events. “I hope this gives people a sense of hope in what can be accomplished when the city believes in itself.”

You can see on this graph from the study, the number of shootings in Baltimore spikes after Freddie Gray’s death in 2015.

Dr. Phalen also found in the three days after each Ceasefire, shootings are down at least ten percent. “On one hand, Ceasefire is effective. On the other hand, people are still dying,” he said.

On February 7, at the beginning of the last Ceasefire weekend, Khaled Heeba was shot to death while on his final pizza delivery of the day in West Baltimore.

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Police released surveillance video of the suspect—a man dressed in black with a slim build. The shooting happened near Franklin and Carey just after one in the afternoon.

Heeba’s co-workers at Vizzini’s pizzeria have held a weekly memorial for him and will continue doing so until his killer is caught.

“It’s our way of staying in touch with Khaled,” said his friend and co-worker Kimberly McManaway. “We are keeping his memory alive. We don’t want people to forget about him because he was a human being. He meant a lot to us… He was family to us.”

Another co-worker, Vicky Bailey, said Heeba always made her smile: “He was a wonderful person. It’s just crazy. Everybody killing everybody. For what? Nothing.”

Anyone with tips can call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-Lockup. Callers can remain anonymous.

“We’re keeping hope alive. We’re praying,” McManaway said. “It’s crazy, the violence is out of control. Something has to be done. Something has to change in Baltimore.”

  1. Mark says:

    Black males are the #1 domestic terror threat in the United States.., They are well funded and protected by the radical democratic party.., 6% of the population and commit over half of all crimes.., 75% of mass shooters.., Leftist media like WJZ won’t address the elephant in the room.., because WJZ had a leftist agenda..,

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