CATONSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — After a record number of homicides last year, Baltimore County leaders are trying to stop the violence.

Baltimore County Police are searching for whoever shot Diamond Trueheart, 27. It happened in the Catonsville Plaza parking lot last Thursday.

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“If it’s not solved, the same people are going to continue to do the same things,” Phenizee Green said. “The only way it’s going to be solved is to stop it before it happens.”

Violence has increased in Baltimore County.

The county set a record with 54 homicides in 2021, up from 33 in 2020 and 49 the year before.

“Usually Baltimore County is pretty safe in comparison to the city,” said Brian Copeland. “So, that is unusual to hear.”

The rise in crime prompted county leaders and police to hold a town hall meeting with residents on Tuesday.

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“Our murder rate, our per capita numbers are better than a lot of jurisdictions,” said Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger. “But, I agree, 54, is a number I never thought we would see. I think it was 2014 when we had 19 or 20.”

Trueheart is the county’s fourth homicide of 2022. Police said detectives are following up on leads in her case.

They’re also working with business owners in the community to address their concerns about violence.

People who live near this area said stopping the violence will take more than just police work.

“It does bother me,” Copeland said. “Police are doing the best they can, but without controlling the illegal guns, it makes things challenging for them.”

During the town hall, police reassured attendees they’re working to solve these crimes and prevent them from happening in the first place.

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If you have information about Diamond Trueheart’s case, you’re asked to give them a call.

Jessica Albert