BALTIMORE (AP) — A holiday weekend block party in Baltimore ended tragically after multiple people opened fire, killing two and wounding 30 others, many of them under 18, police said.
The circumstances leading up to the shooting early Sunday remained under investigation after police spent hours combing a massive crime scene in the Brooklyn Homes area in the southern part of the city. Richard Worley, Baltimore’s acting police commissioner, told reporters there were a total of 30 victims, with more than a dozen believed to be minors.
No arrests had been made by late Sunday. Worley said it wasn’t clear if the shooting was targeted or random.
The shooting comes amid gatherings around the country leading up to the July Fourth holiday. A shooting in Kansas left seven people with gunshot wounds and two more victims hospitalized after being trampled as people rushed out of a nightclub early Sunday morning, police there said.
The violence in Baltimore occurred the same week federal prosecutors there touted efforts to reduce violent crime in the city. Police have reported nearly 130 homicides and close to 300 shootings so far this year, though that’s down from the same time last year. Authorities have vowed to crack down aggressively on repeat violent offenders.
Nine of Sunday’s victims were transported by ambulance and 20 walked into area hospitals with injuries from the shooting, Worley said. Nine remained hospitalized Sunday afternoon.
The deceased victims were identified as 18-year-old Aaliyah Gonzales and 20-year-old Kylis Fagbemi, police said Sunday. Gonzales died at the scene and Fagbemi died at the hospital. The 28 injured victims ranged in age from 13 to 32, with more than half younger than 18, officials said.
Gov. Wes Moore said his “heart breaks for these victims, their families, and the Baltimore community that is coping with the loss.”
“Maryland has had enough of watching gun violence continue to ravage our state and our nation,” Moore said in a statement. “The fact that these horrific shootings continue to take place is abominable. We as a state will continue to do everything we can to prevent senseless acts of violence like the one we saw last night.”
It took some time for detectives to process the extensive crime scene, authorities said.
Lakell Nelson said there were several false alarms of people mistaking the sounds of fireworks for gunfire earlier in the night while she was at the block party. The actual shooting started as she was getting to her car.
“The shots were just going on and on and on,” she said.
That’s when two young women approached her and said they’d been shot, with one woman showing how a bullet had gone through her shorts.
Nelson said she sped through red lights to get the women to the nearest hospital.
“When I pulled up to the door of the hospital, my car was almost getting ready to be inside the hospital, because I was determined to get those babies in,” Nelson said.