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Relentless Baltimore Violence: Neighbors Frustrated, Demanding Action After 6 Shot In Less Than An Hour

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Baltimore City has recorded more than one murder a day in 2022 with homicides and non-fatal shootings both more than 20 percent higher than last year.

Many are frustrated at the violence they see as out of control.

"I was in the kitchen cooking dinner and heard the gunshots," a woman who lives on Gelston Drive told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren.

Not far from her home Wednesday night, three people were shot, including a 15-year-old boy.

Two of those victims later died.

Baltimore police initially identified them as juveniles but later said they were 19 and 20 years old.

The neighbor told Hellgren she initially heard 10 gunshots. "Then, it stopped. The person went back and shot the person again. So whoever you are, you've got that kind of hatred in your heart. You better look at yourself. I saw the black morgue van. It's a shame I've got to look and see that outside of my residence. The violence has to stop in this city. Everybody. Everybody put your guns down. Stop. The objective is to stop the killing."

The victims were among six shot in less than an hour Wednesday evening.

And within a mile of her home, at least four teenagers have been shot in the past six months.

One of them, 17-year-old JaJuan Robinson Jr., suffered a fatal bullet wound to his chest as he rode a scooter near Edmondson Avenue in December. WJZ spoke to his devastated family shortly after the murder.

"We are the faces behind these numbers. These are the faces right here. We are the people who are losing our loved ones," said relative Tridonna Brandford on December 16th. "When do people get it that when you kill someone…you are killing a part of us."

This week, Commissioner Michael Harrison told WJZ the violence problem will not be solved unless people speak up.

"What is equally frustrating is there are people out there—sometimes standing right there—and not only not attempting to stop this behavior but also being very uncooperative in helping us hold these cowardly criminals accountable," Harrison said Tuesday.

He will be part of a news conference scheduled for Friday morning that also includes the mayor, the governor and representatives of the U.S. Marshal's office. They will discuss Operation Washout II, described as a "two-week, multi-agency law enforcement operation focused on apprehending violent fugitives and wanted gang members throughout the Baltimore area."

"You can't blame it on all of the community people, but if you know something, open your mouth," said the neighbor on Gelston Drive. "Don't be afraid…this has got to stop."

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