By Michelle Richardson
Special to the AFRO

On Nov. 14, Baltimore registered a grisly milestone; 300 homicides for the fifth year in a row according to the Baltimore Police Department (BPD).

The 300th and 301st victims were apart of a double homicide outside of the South Monroe Grocery Store at the corner of Monroe and McHenry Street in West Baltimore. 

Police later identified the victims as 21- year old Courtney Richardson and 22- year old Ayranna James. 

Ayranna James, 22, became the city’s 301st homicide victim during a double homicide on Nov. 14. (Courtesy Photo)

Neighbors watched as firefighters washed the blood off the street. 

“We have got to stick together and stop killing each other,” said Michelle Long to WJZ-TV, who lives nearby and has also been a victim of gun violence. Long said she no longer feels safe.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison addressed the city’s growing homicide rate on WYPR Radio with Tom Hall. 

“Every murder is a tragedy. We don’t want any. We strive to clear them all,” said Harrison. 

Harrison also said a new deployment strategy in Baltimore placed officers in the area of a shooting Wednesday night, allowing them to catch a fleeing vehicle.

“Our officers were right where they are supposed to be,” he said.

Harrison also stated that there must be programs offering young men a path away from a life of crime. 

“If you’re not doing that, we are only responding to it.” 

As of Nov. 18, there have been 306 homicides in the city. The last two victims were unidentified males. On Nov. 17, the 305th murder victim was gunned down in the 900 block of W. Franklin St., as part of a double shooting. The 306th homicide was a stabbing victim, in the 1200 block of Angelsea St., in South Baltimore.