BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Disputes stemming from dice games led to several violent crimes in Baltimore last week, police commissioner Michael Harrison said.
Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and the commissioner were asked about the recent surge in violence leading to the deaths of at least 15 people and injuring 35 others.READ MORE: State Investigators Release Body Camera Footage From Fatal Essex Police Shooting
The police commissioner said many recent shootings have had multiple victims and are linked to illegal activities.
Harrison linked a quintuple shooting Friday and a quadruple shooting Saturday to dice games.
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“So we’re working to make sure that no. 1, we can be where we need to be to prevent it and then are working to identify those people to hold them accountable,” he said. “What we need is community help to help identify these people because in many, if not most of them, people are out there and saw what happened and we really need members of our community to help us identify these bad actors who are causing harm and killing our people.”READ MORE: Camp Airy Dining Hall Fire Deemed Total Loss, Estimated $2M Damage
Harrison said city police are working with state and federal partners to solve these cases.
“I’ve been in constant contact with all state agencies, with our federal law enforcement agencies and our US Attorney, talking about how we can be more strategic in no. 1 preventing crime and identifying who committed these [crimes],” he said.
BPD has recently seen incidents of violence occur as a result of individuals playing dice games and other illegal gambling. If you witness any type of illegal or suspicious activity in your community, please call 911 or 311. Caller can remain anonymous https://t.co/PIhr5LDHf8
— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) September 15, 2020
Harrison said police believe the fatal shooting in Federal Hill Park was also linked to a dice game.
“We believe the victim was somehow engaged with either members of a dice game, people who are participating in a dice game, that led to a shooting in a murder,” Harrison said.MORE NEWS: State Investigators Release Body Camera Footage From Towson Police Shooting That Left Officer Shot, Suspect Dead
Harrison said the police need information about those dice games to solve the crimes and asked for the public to help report illegal gambling before they turn violent.