TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — After Baltimore County’s record 50th murder, Police Chief Melissa Hyatt on Wednesday called the level of violence in the county “incomprehensible” and vowed to work with government agencies to address root causes of violent crime.
In an emailed statement, Chief Hyatt said the elevated levels of violence won’t be tolerated. She said the Baltimore County Police Department will work with the State’s Attorney’s Office in an effort to make sure that the county remains a safe place for residents and visitors alike.READ MORE: 'Heavy Police Presence,' Including SWAT Teams, Reported In West Baltimore; Multiple Roads Closed For About 40 Minutes
“Violent crime inflicts pain and trauma on the entire community,” Hyatt said. “The effects are long lasting and far reaching. The Baltimore County Police Department will continue to work closely with our partners across the region to focus on addressing the root causes of violence.”
She attributed the wave of violence to behavioral health crises, domestic and family violence and a lack of conflict resolution, saying those factors “have claimed far too many precious lives.”
The statement comes on the heels of a grim milestone. The county recorded its 50th homicide of the year Tuesday evening with the killing of a 28-year-old woman, who was found fatally shot at her Pikesville home. A man believed to be the woman’s boyfriend is charged with her murder.
Maurice Wright, who lives near the apartment complex where the shooting happened, said the deadly shooting is uncharacteristic for the area.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Mostly Sunny & Warm
“That’s not nothing,” Wright told WJZ. “You would expect that to happen in the city. That’s why people move up here, to get away from stuff like that.”
Tuesday’s shooting was only a few days removed from the county’s 49th homicide. A 24-year-old woman was shot and killed last Friday along Belmont Avenue. Police have not announced any arrests in that case.
Over the weekend, police arrested a man suspected of carrying out a shooting spree at a number of locations, including the Essex courthouse where several of the building’s windows were shot out. The front doors were riddled with bullet holes. Fortunately, no one was injured.
Despite the record bloodshed, Chief Hyatt said county police continue to make arrests in violent crimes. She said the police department’s clearance rate in homicide investigations remains high.MORE NEWS: Crime Without Punishment: Homicide Clearance Rates Are Declining Across The US. Baltimore's Is Down To 42%
“We remain committed to ensuring individuals involved in criminal activity are aggressively pursued by the police department and held accountable through working collaboratively with the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office,” the chief said.