BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Police are investigating after a Safe Streets advocate and community leader was shot and killed in southeast Baltimore on Sunday.
Officers responded to the 200 block of Douglas Court at around 11:17 a.m. and found the 30-year-old man had been shot to his head.READ MORE: Maryland Has Three Confirmed Cases Of The Omicron Variant Of COVID-19, Hogan Says
He was taken to Johns Hopkins where he was pronounced dead shortly after.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and police confirmed the victim is Dante Barksdale, a community leader who Scott described as “the heart and soul of Safe Streets” where Barksdale worked for nine years.
“My heart is broken with the loss of my friend Dante Barksdale, a beloved leader in our community who committed his life to saving lives in Baltimore. He was the heart and soul of Safe Streets, where he worked for 9 years. His death is a major loss to Safe Streets, the communities they serve, and the entire City of Baltimore. I send my deepest condolences and prayers to Dante’s family in this tragic time.” Scott said in part in a statement Sunday.
He said he will not let “those who chose to violently take his life dampen the light of his work,”READ MORE: Baltimore County Superintendent Says Pandemic Trauma Causing Uptick In Disruption, Invites Community Discussion
“Dante was not only a respected Safe Streets team member, but a beloved friend to so many in Baltimore. He turned his life around and worked tirelessly for nearly a decade to prevent gun violence in our communities by working with those who were at the highest risk of being a shooter or the victim of shooting. Our office mourns this senseless loss of life with the rest of Baltimore City and is committed to honoring his life and his light by continuing to work to end gun violence in our city once and for all.” said Shantay Jackson, director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison released a statement as well Sunday:
“The men and women of the Baltimore Police Department offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of Dante Barksdale. His work in outreach, mediating conflicts and reducing gun violence in our city was invaluable and he embodied a message of redemption and peace to the many young people of our city.”
Baltimore City Councilmember Zeke Cohen called the loss of Barksdale to violence “beyond devastating,”
The loss of Dante Barksdale to violence is beyond devastating.
He was among the first people I spoke to about The Healing City Act.
“Baltimore will never get better until we break the cycle. Trauma eats at every facet of our lives.”
Today, someone else’s trauma took away his. pic.twitter.com/BiwQX1mbk5
— Zeke Cohen (@Zeke_Cohen) January 17, 2021
City Council President Nick Mosby extended condolences to Barksdale’s family, saying he used his life to save others to prevent gun violence on the streets.
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Dante Barksdale used his life to save others by preventing gun violence on our streets. He beat a myriad of odds to do it. Dante was my friend, and I grieve with countless others at the murder of this exceptional man. I extend heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/g4ypsJZqzo
— Nick J. Mosby (@Nick_Mosby) January 17, 2021
Homicide detectives are investigating. Anyone with information regarding this murder is asked to call detectives at (410) 396-2100. If anyone wishes to remain anonymous can call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7lockup.