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Three Men Injured In Shooting Near Safe Streets Event In Northeast Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Three men were hospitalized after they were shot Thursday afternoon near a Safe Streets event in Northeast Baltimore, police said.

Officers responded at 3:43 to the 3500 block of Bel Air Road for a reported shooting, where they found evidence of a shooting. They found three victims who fled to different areas for safety.

The victims were identified as two 30-year-old men and a 51-year-old man. They were hospitalized with what are believed to be non-life-threatening injuries, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said.

Witnesses reported seeing the gunman standing at the corner of Bel Air Road and Pelham Avenue shooting in the direction of the victims, police said. Harrison said the gunman fled on foot.

"I was right up there getting food with my homeboys and chilling and it's like its crazy we can't even go outside and play," said said neighbor, Nehemiah Pryor.

A cookout for Safe Streets, a city-funded violence intervention program, was being on the block, but Harrison said the victims were not affiliated with the event.

"Safe Streets had a planned event and these people were also in the block and were victims," Harrison said. "There could have been many more people hurt and killed and this speaks to the senseless violence, the cowardice, the brazenness of an individual to open fire in broad daylight much less indiscriminately on people in a crowd."

Harrison says he believes it was a targeted act and the shooter was aiming for one person, but ended up striking three.

"It was a very chaotic scene as you could imagine and our safe street workers responded as they always do, marvelously and bravely," Harrison said.

Mayor Brandon Scott said shootings like these won't stop the work of Safe Streets and other violence intervention initiatives.

"This will not stop the work that is happening in this neighborhood through Safe Streets, through the Belair-Edison Community Association, through Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc., who are going to not just work like they always have, but harder because these kinds of things have happened in their neighborhood," Scott said.

Neighbor Nathanial Pryor said he's noticed a difference in the crime in the neighborhood ever since Safe Streets stepped in, but he fears it's not enough.

"Just seems like the city is going down and down and down," he said.

Anyone with information is urged to contact detectives at 410-396-2444 or call the Metro Crime Stoppers tip-line at 1-866-7LOCK-UP.

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