Baltimore investigators search for suspects in mass shooting that killed 2 and injured 28 others – Boston News, Weather, Sports |  WHDH 7News

Baltimore investigators search for suspects in mass shooting that killed 2 and injured 28 others – Boston News, Weather, Sports | WHDH 7News

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(CNN) — Baltimore investigators are looking for several suspects in a mass shooting that turned a beloved annual block party into chaos early Sunday, killing two people and injuring 28 others, most of whom were teenagers, officials said.

The search for the shooters — investigators believe at least two were involved in the incident — is ongoing, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott told CNN on Monday, swearing: “We won’t rest until we find those who cowardly decided to shoot up this block party and commit acts of violence that we know will be illegal weapons.”

Officials are combing through “every lead, every minute, every second of footage, everything we have to find out who decided to disrupt this peaceful event in this way,” Scott said on “CNN This Morning.”

The gunfire broke out early Sunday in Brooklyn’s southern Baltimore neighborhood, where community members were enjoying an annual celebration dubbed Brooklyn Day.

Aaliyah Gonzalez, 18, whose last name was originally spelled ending in an “s,” and Kylis Fagbemi, 20, were fatally shot, the Baltimore Police Department said.

The dozens of surviving victims all suffered gunshot wounds, according to Acting Police Commissioner Richard Worley. Five of the injured were adults aged 20 or older and the other 23 were teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19, police said.

Seven of the injured are still hospitalized, including four in critical condition and three in stable condition, the mayor noted.

Investigators are scouring the sprawling crime scene — which spans several city blocks — for evidence and poring over hours of surveillance footage, the police commissioner said. Officials also urged members of the community to provide any relevant information or video footage that may assist in the investigation.

A reward for information leading to the suspects’ capture has been increased to $28,000, Worley said at a news conference on Monday.

Block party crowd disperses amid gunfire

Police began receiving calls reporting the shooting around 12:30 a.m. Sunday, according to Worley.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found an 18-year-old woman – later identified as Gonzalez – dead, police said. A 20-year-old boy identified as Fagbemi was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An ice cream truck was parked directly across from where Gonzalez was shot and killed. Truck driver Keith, who declined to give his last name, told CNN he saw her collapse down the stairs as hundreds of people ran for cover.

Keith said he told his children to lie on the floor of the truck and wait for the gunfire to stop.

“I walked to [Gonzalez]checked her pulse, straightened her, tried to start CPR but she was already dead,” he said.

Some people with gunshot wounds took refuge inside the ice cream truck. Monday morning there was still blood on the ground near the truck parking spot.

Keith said he couldn’t see where the shots were coming from. He said there was no disturbance at the block party before the shooting began.

He said his two daughters, aged 13 and 18, are doing “well but extremely stressed”.

Investigators have not yet determined the motive for the attack and are still trying to determine whether the victims were targeted or were shot indiscriminately, the police commissioner said. As officers scoured the neighborhood on Sunday, K-9 units located additional shell casings that had not been recovered overnight, he said.

Staff at MedStar Harbor Hospital were expecting a routine night shift when they were greeted by the arrival of several patients with traumatic gunshot wounds, said Dr. Hania Habeeb, associate president of the Department of emergencies, during a press conference on Monday.

Habeeb said the hospital received 19 patients in an hour, including 14 teenagers. Many patients were minors, brought in by family and relatives who were “duly concerned”, she said.

“We didn’t know if we were safe. We didn’t know if the shooter(s) was right outside the doors of our hospital,” Habeeb said.

The hospital was immediately closed for security while staff carried out lifesaving procedures to stabilize the victims. Habeeb added that 10 patients were transferred to trauma centers in Baltimore.

The attack marks one of the latest acts of gun violence to plunge an American community into grief as they gather in everyday spaces including parks, schools, malls and grocery stores.

“It was a reckless and cowardly act of violence that took the lives of two people and changed many, many more,” Scott said. “This tragic incident is another glaring and unfortunate example of the serious problems of violence in Baltimore, Maryland and this country, particularly gun violence and access to illegal weapons.”

Just three days into the month, it was one of five mass shootings in July and one of 340 mass shootings in the United States in 2023, according to Gun Violence Archive. The archives, like CNN, define a mass shooting as one in which four or more people are shot, not including the shooter.

“These guns come from Virginia, they come from Texas, they come from Florida, they come from Alabama, they come from all over this country,” Scott said.

“We have to deal with this gun problem and the flow of illegal guns into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them domestically,” he added.

The National Rifle Association sued Maryland Governor Wes Moore after he signed the Gun Safety Act of 2023 and other gun safety measures in May, court documents show.

Gunfire shatters a community party

The block party was held as an annual celebration of the Brooklyn neighborhood. Scott called on the public to think of the shooting as if it happened in a rural community. “When it’s happening in Baltimore or Chicago or DC, it doesn’t get the same attention,” he said.

“These black American lives, these children’s lives, matter like anyone else,” he added.

Scott described the Brooklyn neighborhood as a working class community filled with “tremendous pride”.

“It’s a neighborhood that has had its issues, but a neighborhood that has seen people in this community really determined to see it succeed and see things change,” he added.

There were “at least a few hundred people” at the event on Saturday, Worley said at Monday’s press conference, describing it as “unauthorized”, pointing out that no organizer had filed paperwork with the city.

Asked if the police had been staffed appropriately for the event, Worley said the annual celebration takes place on a different Saturday each year. In the past, law enforcement could find out the date of the event in advance to prepare resources.

But this year, police only learned of the event the same day, Worley said. “As far as I know, no one informed BPD that Brooklyn Day was on July 1st.”

“Unfortunately, we did not arrive in time to prevent what happened.”

Mayor Scott said Sunday his office is mobilizing all available resources to help with the investigation, including distributing information about community services available to residents of the Brooklyn Homes neighborhood, which he described as public housing.

Brooklyn Homes resident Yvonne Booker told CNN affiliate WBAL that she had lived in the area for three decades and felt the gun violence had reached a breaking point.

“It’s a bit difficult for me. I am mother. They must stop. It’s too much. I have attended so many funerals in this community,” Booker said.

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