BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) -- Murders are up 60 percent year-to-date in Baltimore County, where three men were shot during a violent weekend.
As of Monday, there have been 40 killings. At this time last year, there were 25.
In Middle River, 25-year-old Nick Hull was shot and killed just before noon Sunday in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Farwind and Windlass Drives.
"He would give you the shirt off his back. He's the kind of person who would do anything for anybody," Hull's friend Jerrry Collemer said.
He has no idea why someone would want to kill Hull, who was found with at least one bullet wound.
"I really want them to find the person who did this. They deserve to go to prison for it. It's tragic," Collemer said. "Somebody that young does not deserve to lose their life like that. I couldn't stop crying. I already miss him and can't believe he's gone."
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In Essex, two men were shot off Eastern Boulevard just after 1:30 Sunday morning.
A neighbor's security camera captured the gunfire, including dozens of shots.
Leah Biddinger is the president of the Sussex Community Association in the area. She said one of the bullets pierced a nearby home.
"My heart dropped," Biddinger said. "Am I going to fight with everything I have to prevent something like this from happening again in my community? Absolutely."
She's concerned about a nearby business and told WJZ she's been making calls to elected officials.
"Myself and my community are angry that something like this is happening but put that aside and you're very concerned because this is not something that happens in our community," she said. "It scares you to think that somebody has that much disregard for human life that you're going to open fire on a busy thoroughfare."
Baltimore County Police Cpl. Shawn Vinson said police are trying to get information from witnesses in that case. Both men who were shot survived.
In general, Vinson said the county's homicides are driven by the drug trade. He praised the relationship of police and prosecutors.
"The good thing is we don't see a lot of recidivism," he said. "We address the situation. We work closely with the state's attorney's office so that when our arrests get successfully prosecuted, they get convicted and go to jail."
Baltimore City has also seen its murder rate rise compared to 2018 and surpassed 300 murders for the year last week.
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