BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Residents of Northwest Baltimore’s Howard Park called for an end to the shootings in an emergency meeting with Baltimore’s mayor and police commissioner after a harrowing week.
Last week a 70-year-old woman was found shot dead behind her house on Queensberry Avenue near Pimlico. On Saturday night a mass shooting at an intersection in Gwynn Oak killed three men and injured a 73-year-old man.READ MORE: Firefighters Battle Two-Alarm Fire Amid Thunderstorm In Baltimore's Riverside Neighborhood
On Wednesday, a man died after he was found shot in his car at the scene of a crash.
Frustration could be heard in the voices of every resident as they spoke to Mayor Brandon Scott and Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison.
Residents said this violence has been going on here for decades and it has got to stop.
“We have to dodge bullets because the police department is absent,” said Donna Rouse of the Howard Park Civic Association. “There is no policing patrol in this neighborhood and I am speaking directly to the commissioner.
Christopher Ervin, chairman of the Howard Park Civic Association, was there when shots rang out Saturday night at the intersection of Liberty Heights and Gwynn Oak Avenue.
“I was walking to the vehicle shots began people were running in all directions,” he said.
Mayor Scott said he understands the anger.READ MORE: Fourth Of July Fireworks Return To Baltimore's Inner Harbor
“Four people were shot three people were killed, people are supposed to be frustrated,” he said.
But it isn’t the only shooting, and this neighborhood is fed up – including eight graders from Calvin Rodwell Elementary.
“I can’t focus these days because I’m worried about my safety,” said eighth-grader De’Keyia, who lost most of her hearing to cancer and is afraid she won’t hear the next shooting.
“When I do walk home I don’t always feel safe,” said her classmate Zyair.
Harrison vowed to do more to protect the community.
“This is on all of us,” Harrison said. “Starting with me.”
And Mayor Scott promised the city would communicate better.
There seems to be more crime than city police can handle.MORE NEWS: Maryland Comptroller Franchot Tests Positive For COVID-19
Commissioner Harrison said the police force is severely understaffed and that there are more officers retiring than they can hire. He did note 25 officers graduated last week and 20 started class this week.