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Brooklyn Homes mass shooting: Report details failures, police inaction in Brooklyn Day shooting response

Brooklyn Homes mass shooting: Mother of slain teen confronts mayor over after-action report, police
Brooklyn Homes mass shooting: Mother of slain teen confronts mayor over after-action report, police 03:16

BALTIMORE - Her pain is still raw.

The mother of Brooklyn Homes mass shooting victim Aaliyah Gonzalez told the mayor about the failure of police to control crowds and respond to calls that the Brooklyn Day event was spiraling into out-of-control violence.

 "I have to live with this unbearable pain every single day," Krystal Gonzalez said of losing her 18-year-old daughter on July 2. 

"Dispatch started begging police to come there. Nobody responded, and then I heard you say by the time we got here the incident had already occurred, but it didn't have to occur. Do you understand? It did not have to happen," Gonzalez said. 

The Brooklyn Day mass shooting is the largest in Baltimore history.

The city's own 173-page report, released Wednesday morning, found some police supervisors failed to do their jobs, ignored what was going on around them and did not call for reinforcements. You can read the full report here.

One resident's emergency complaint that "hundreds…are armed with guns and knives" received this response from an officer: "We might have to redirect that call to the National Guard then."

Less than 20 minutes before the shooting, command sent the message, "Monitor only. Don't get drawn in and become a target."

The acting commissioner said discipline is coming for the poor response and several Baltimore police employees have been referred to the Public Integrity Bureau. 

"We could have done so many things differently that could have helped with a different outcome but we didn't, and those who didn't do that will be held accountable," said acting BPD commissioner Richard Worley at a Wednesday news conference to discuss the findings.

He said a major in the Southern District is being reassigned, among other changes. 

The report does not blame staffing shortages. 

"It's frustrating for me because if we didn't have the people I would understand, but we had over 100 officers available throughout the city that we could have moved there in a short period of time," Worley said. 

The report found some police supervisors "gave very little consideration on the potential public safety concerns of having a crowd the size of 800 to 900 people without sufficient police presence."

And they, along with two CitiWatch camera operators, ignored signs of the party.

There were also lapses in intelligence. 

Police initially said they had no knowledge of Brooklyn Day 2023 despite social media postings and flyers advertising the event recorded by the department's own intelligence.

WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren asked the mayor what he believed was behind the inaction.

"I don't really care. What it's about now, it's about holding people accountable who should have done things or didn't share that information, right? What really matters is that we have two young people dead and 28 other people shot, and we have to have accountability at every level for them and their families and their community," Mayor Scott said. 

Acting commissioner Worley noted, "I'm not frustrated with the investigation." 

He said there is an increased $88,000 reward. 

He said one of the challenges is "we have multiple shooters with over 100 casings that we have to track."

We are setting a path forward with the goal of ensuring every mistake outlined in these reports is never repeated. 

But the report did not lay blame solely on police.

The head of the housing authority says staff had no knowledge of the party until after 30 people had been shot on their property.

Full Conference: City leaders discuss after action reports in Brooklyn Homes mass shooting 16:49

"There were some breakdowns. There were some breakdowns on our part," said Janet Abrahams, the president and chief executive officer of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City. "We as HABC understand that we should have better communications with our families."

She stressed Wednesday that she was not considering any evictions.

Also revealed in the report, Safe Streets workers knew the event was happening and even mediated five disputes there, but they did not notify anyone and believed Brooklyn Day would not turn violent.

"We want to make sure there's very strong two-way communication between city government and Safe Streets," said the interim director of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement Stefanie Mavronis.

Despite the failures, some officers were praised for saving lives.

That includes an officer who performed first aid on a shooting victim and rushed him to the hospital. You can watch his body-worn camera video here.

The police union says city leaders are making their officers "scapegoats" for critically short staffing and failed policies.

"We are 'falling on our sword' because any missteps that occurred that nightfall squarely on our shoulders, pushing our District officers into a no-win situation," FOP3 President Mike Mancuso said in a statement. 


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