Another round of shootings plagued Baltimore over the weekend, despite a plea from city activists for a 72-hour “cease-fire."
According to the Baltimore Sun, a 24-year-old man was shot and killed in central Baltimore Saturday afternoon, while a 37-year-old man was murdered Saturday night in northwest Baltimore. There was an additional nonfatal shooting in northwest Baltimore, the Sun reported.
The string of shootings interrupted a weekend-long cease-fire organized by city activists and promoted by Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and the city’s police department. Community leaders made shirts and distributed flyers around the city promoting the cease-fire with one simple message: “Nobody kill anybody.”
The cease-fire began Thursday night and remained successful through Friday until the shootings on Saturday. That, however, didn’t dampen spirits.
"Yes, there was a homicide. But, the work doesn't stop. Organizers called and are in the area to continue to spread love,” T.J. Smith, a Baltimore Police Department spokesman, wrote on Twitter.
At each crime scene, activists gathered to help comfort the victims’ friends, families, and neighbors. Community organizers also held more than 30 events for Baltimoreans, including vigils, cookouts, church events, and “peace walks,” the Sun reported.
Baltimore has been marred by street violence for decades and is routinely one of the most violent and deadly U.S. cities. The problems have been exacerbated this year and the city is on pace to set a record for number of homicides in one year.
WBAL-TV reported that prior to the weekend, Baltimore had recorded 208 homicides, most of which were shooting-related. That, according to NBC News, is a record pace for the city of just a little more than 600,000 residents.
The problem is so bad, in fact, that Baltimore has already seen 40 more murders through 2017 than all of New York City has seen. However, Baltimore has less than 10 percent of the population of New York City, which has a population of more than 8 million.
Community organizers recognize there will be setbacks, but they told news stations their ultimate goal is to help their city heal. They plan to eventually attempt a year-long cease-fire, WBAL reports, and community leaders are meeting about it this week.