Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
August 17, 2022

Over the past month, eight people have been shot in the area surrounding Greenmount Avenue, with two of the shootings occurring in the past week. It is suspected that this increase in violence is related to a drug turf struggle that has arisen between two local gangs, the Black Guerilla Family and the Bloods.

Police Commissioner Anthony Batts told CBS Baltimore that he believes an increase in the number of patrolling policemen would help reduce the shootings.

“I want to get more officers on the streets to make sure that we’re safe,” he said.

Rod Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney, believes the issue lies within the fact that the Black Guerilla Family is a prison gang and its imprisoned gang members are often still in contact with each other.

“We need to make sure that while they’re in prison, the are isolated and not able to carry on gang activity,” Rodenstein told CBS Baltimore.

This particular string of shootings began on Oct. 31 with the fatal shooting of 41-year-old Michael Allen. On Nov. 20, three individuals were shot, two men and 16-year-old Daniel Pearson, who was killed. The following day, two more men were shot on the corner of 27th and Boone streets. On the evening of Nov. 24, a 33-year-old man was shot at the intersection of Greenmount and East North avenues. A third fatal shot was fired on Nov. 25, killing a 16-year old Daqwon Artis on the 2200 block of Barclay.

Doug Ward, the Director of the Division of Public Safety Leadership at Hopkins, explained that the gang violence mostly stems from issues of money.

“The underground economy fuels these things so there’s a demand side for drugs that needs to be addressed,” Ward said to CBS Baltimore.

The crime committed most recently involved two masked men who demanded money from an anonymous victim and, after shooting him in the leg, fled the scene having stolen an indeterminate amount. The man was found by police at 10:15 p.m. and then taken to the hospital. He is now in stable condition.

Theo Taylor, a renter of the Johnston Square Apartments, a building for seniors located just off Greenmount Avenue, expressed the fear fellow residents feel.

“The majority of people in here stay in here,” Taylor said to The Baltimore Sun. “Don’t even go out, they just listen to the gunshots.”

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