BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There’s a sense of unease in the air along West Lexington Street on Thursday after 6 people were shot and 1 person died in a mass shooting the day before.

“Very concerned, very concerned,” said Michelle Douglas of Baltimore. Douglas said she’s always been vigilant even before the shooting. “Oh yes got to be mindful, have to be. You have to look around, you’ve got to be aware. One earbud in. Not both, just one.”

READ MORE: 5 Injured, 1 Killed In West Baltimore Mass Shooting Wednesday

Yvonne Butler works in the area. She said Wednesday’s mass shooting wasn’t the only violent outbreak this week. “It’s scary. I used to walk every day, now they’re like, Miss Yvonne you can’t walk around here,” said Butler.

Members of Safe Streets had plans to visit this community a few days ago but after Wednesday’s mass shooting, a leader told WJZ they put together this event in a matter of hours.

“We have a responsibility to the community. To engage them and let them know that there are other ways to resolve conflict,” said Dante Johnson of Safe Streets.

Members of the group had a cook-out on the block on Thursday. The group, which also includes former gang members, knows how things could play out, so they try to stop any retaliation before it happens.

“We understand that conflict is normal. It’s a normal way of life. It’s conflict all over the world but it’s how you respond to conflict without violence, without guns without knives,” said Johnson.

Safe Streets is also publicizing its Safe Summer 2021 initiative. The organization has organized events like movie screenings or concerts.

The hope is those events will create a sense of community in neighborhoods and reduce violence.


Ava-joye Burnett