Two Mass Shootings Hours Apart In Baltimore; Friend Of Murder Victim Describes Final Moments
BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Baltimore police searched for suspects Wednesday following two mass shootings in the city just hours apart the day before in a wave of violence that has rattled neighborhoods across Baltimore.
The first shooting on North Rose Street near Monument Street injured three people and left one man dead. Police identified him as 25-year-old Chone Cummings.
Cummings' friend, who asked that his name not be used, told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren how he rushed to help him. "He asked me to call an ambulance," he said, while standing behind a black Ford SUV where Cummings collapsed. "I had to sit here and watch him suffer. Someone I loved." He said Cummings had "great energy" and a smile that would light up the room. He said Cummings' brother was also shot in the same incident.
Cummings' girlfriend of 12 years told Hellgren he was killed less than a month before his birthday. "He was very loved by his family and friends," she wrote in an Instagram message.
Just hours later in Northwest Baltimore, five people were shot in another mass shooting. One of the victims is a juvenile. Leaders promised action to stop the violence many believe is out of control.
"We're working to make sure we're highly visible," Commissioner Michael Harrison said outside City Hall Wednesday, assuring the public "we won't give up."
Governor Larry Hogan noted millions of dollars recently spent on Baltimore's violence reduction efforts with little progress. "It's unconscionable. We had a meeting with the police commissioner and mayor all of which we granted. We gave them $48 million for everything they asked us to do," Hogan said. "We continue to have this bloodshed, and I would question whether they have to go back and revisit their strategy and violent crime plan because it's obviously not working."
The governor also talked about guns. "We have the toughest gun laws in America, but we don't have anyone enforcing those laws," he said.
Activist Tyree Moorehead told Hellgren he does not have much faith in the politicians.
"It feels like they're not here. They don't live in these streets, these neighborhoods. They don't hear these shots," Moorehead said.
In East Baltimore, many are scared. For months, the violence has not let up. Victims include a worker with the Safe Streets violence prevention program who was gunned down in a mass shooting in January just two blocks from where Chone was killed.
"Clean it up!" was Shirley Coates message to the mayor and commissioner as she waited for a bus across the street. "Ducking behind the cars and ducking underneath the cars—that's how bad it is. We've got to have a decent place to live. We've got to have a decent place to raise our families."
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