Cynthia Dugger thought the loud bangs that rang out near her home on the 3300 block of Elmora Avenue in Baltimore on the evening of June 27 were thunder, part of a band of storms moving through the area.
Instead, Dugger said she was horrified to find out that the loud bangs on the block where she has lived for more than 20 years had really been gunshots, fired just a few doors down from her home.
Around 9:05 p.m., Baltimore Police received calls of gunshots in the 3300 block of Elmora Ave., according to northeast Baltimore Police Major Robert Worley. Worley said officers arrived to find three women, a 21-year old, 25 year-old and 51-year-old, suffering from gunshot wounds. All three women were transported to local hospitals, officials said.
One of the victims, Gennie Shird, 21, succumbed to her injuries and later died. According to her Facebook page, Shird graduated from Doris M. Johnson High School in 2010 and was attending Baltimore City Community College.
The shootings continued a bloody start to the summer in Baltimore. There have been 35 shootings in Baltimore since June 21, the first official day of summer. Of those, 14 have been homicides.
“These shootings are unacceptable to us and should be unacceptable to members of the community,” Worley said minutes after the shooting. “We need the community to step up and give us a hand in identifying these suspects and tell us what they saw.”
Worley said he and his shift commander made their rounds in the block just 10 minutes before the shootings. At that time, he said more than 100 people were outside on the block, and kids were outside riding bikes and playing.
About an hour after the shooting, one woman, Shaq Davidson, 19, entered the area with umbrella in hand and tears streaming down her face. She said her boyfriend’s family lives in the block.
“He called me and said his cousin got shot,” said Davidson.
Officers said they have a description of a suspect, but no arrests have been made.
“People out here saw what happened and they had to see the suspects because there’s no way that they didn’t. It was still daylight out and we just need the citizens’ help,” said Worley.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts arrived on the scene about an hour after the shooting. He said officers believe the shooting was a neighborhood dispute and not gang related.
“We have what sounds like a neighborhood dispute,” Batts said during a press conference. “We had kids that were out here playing and from the air, from the ground, from us being in the area, we did everything to keep this [neighborhood] safe.”
Batts said women are increasingly becoming victims of shootings both in Baltimore and across America.
“I don’t think it’s unusual nationally or even locally at this point of time,” Batts said. “We are seeing more and more females getting into violent confrontations with one another, not to a degree that males do, but this is shocking in a lot of different ways.
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