Harold Harvard thought things had improved in his Southwest Baltimore neighborhood since a stray bullet wounded a 5-year-old girl last summer. But after three fatal shootings Sunday just steps from his home — part of a barrage of bullets that left eight dead and three injured across the city over the holiday weekend — he's declared that serenity short-lived.
"I'm scared," the 43-year-old said bluntly on Monday, standing outside his Ramsay Street home where a police cruiser had been idling all morning and a few American flags hung limply in the heat. "Things had calmed down a lot and it was kind of all right … and now, this."
One man was shot to death Sunday morning right next door to Harvard's Carrollton Ridge home. Hours later Sunday night, a double slaying occurred just around the corner. Monday morning, police swarmed the neighborhood with cruisers parked on key streets and others slowly motoring up one street and down another.
The intense police presence was being echoed in violent hot spots across the city, including McElderry Park in East Baltimore where two young men were shot within 45 minutes of one another Saturday night. Police weren't sure if the two killings were related. Later Monday, a man in northeast Baltimore died after suffering seven stab wounds.
"There are people in the city who decided to make everyone's Memorial Day miserable," said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, explaining that in addition to 18 detectives from Homicide pursuing the cases, exponentially more officers have been heavily deployed. "We're not going to put a price tag on public safety. We're going to do what we have to do."
Even with this weekend's violence, Baltimore's homicide tally is 79 for the year, significantly down from the 94 deaths at this time last year. Police said they have an arrest warrant in one fatal shooting and a person of interest in another, but haven't made any arrests.
Authorities said police seized nearly a dozen illegal guns on city streets since Friday. Still, shootings spared virtually no quadrant of the city, from Northeast to Southwest, in one of deadliest weekends in Baltimore this year.
"To see this eruption," said Maj. Terrence McClarney, commander of the homicide unit, "it's a little frustrating."
The latest shooting occurred minutes before 11 a.m. Monday — an adult male shot in the 3900 block of Loch Raven Boulevard in Northeast Baltimore who died shortly after arriving at a hospital. His name has not been made public.
The first man to die this weekend was Ronald Anderson, 30, who was pronounced dead shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday at Harbor Hospital, less than an hour after police responded to a report of gunshots in the 4100 block of Pennington Ave. in the Curtis Bay area and found him wounded.
Davon Dorsey, 18, for whom no address was available, was pronounced dead at 4:25 a.m. Saturday at Johns Hopkins Hospital, three hours after an incident in the 400 block of N. Rose St. in McElderry Park. Police found him on the sidewalk with bullet wounds to the head.
A 22-year-old man was shot in the head in the 2600 block of E. Monument St., also in McElderry Park. He succumbed to his injuries shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday. His name has not yet been released. No one died in three other shootings. As of Monday afternoon, no arrests had been made in any of the incidents.
Just after 6 p.m. Monday in the 4800 block of Truesdale Avenue, in northeast Baltimore, police found a man stabbed seven times. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died. Det. Jeremy Silbert, a police spokesman, said detectives are interviewing a "person of interest" in the stabbing, which police do not think was a random act.
Sunday was the bad day for Carrollton Ridge. First, a man was killed inside a house in the 2100 block of Ramsay Street. Police identified him as Alvin Martin, 28, of the 2200 block of W. Lexington St. A few hours later, as street parties revved up in the neighborhood, two men were killed around the corner in the first block of S. Pulaski St. Police identified them as Damon Chase, 30, of the 2200 block of W. Fayette St. and Michael Hatch, 32, of the 2200 block of W. Lexington St.
Rodger Webb lives across Pulaski Street from the shooting. He's got a sign in one of his windows that says "Stop Shooting, Start Living." After the latest bout of violence, the senior citizen who'd lived there for nearly 50 years could only shake his head. "You just got to be careful around here," he says repeatedly. "I'm scared to say anything to anybody."
Last summer in that neighborhood, where boarded-up homes are plentiful and trash piles up in vacant lots, 5-year-old Raven Wyatt was wounded in the head by a stray bullet.