Published: January 5, 2011
Murders this Week: 5
Murders in 2010: 223
Murders in 2011: 3
In 2010, Baltimore City saw its fewest murders, 223, since 1985. Fewer neighborhoods were involved—100 compared to 114 in 2009. However, some neighborhoods that had not hosted a murder since 2004 (the first year information was collected for this column) joined the ranks, such as Abell and Oakenshawe, both near Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus.
Coldstream Homestead Montebello was the most murderous neighborhood in the city, with eight homicides. East Baltimore Midway and Oliver had seven each. These three neighborhoods create a continuous swath just east of Greenmount Avenue from 33rd Street in the north to Biddle Street in the south.
The Eastern police district had the most homicides in 2010, despite being the smallest district in the city, with 38 murders, followed by the Northeastern with 37, and the Western—the second smallest district—with 36.
The vast majority of homicide victims were male—203 of 223. African-Americans constituted 90.6 percent of murder victims despite making up 63 percent of the population. There were 13 Caucasians, six Hispanics, and two people whose race was listed as “other” by police among the homicide victims this year.
Shooting was the most common method, with 170 people shot to death. Stabbings and beatings each claimed 24 lives, while four people were asphyxiated and one’s cause of death was listed as “other.” The number of beating deaths more than doubled from 2009. Meanwhile, the number of police-involved shootings decreased by more than 50 percent. In 2009 there were 22 police-involved shootings with eight fatalities. In 2010, there were 10 with two fatalities.
Victims in their 20s numbered 95 this year. Overall, people under the age of 30 made up 55 percent of homicides. Homicides were down in almost every age group compared to 2009, however. The exceptions were people in their 30s and 70s and children under the age of 2; four were murdered this year, up from one in 2009.
While Baltimore City saw a record low in homicides, New York City’s and Boston’s homicide totals both rose. Boston’s increased dramatically from 45 in 2009 to 72 in 2010. Still, Baltimore’s per capita homicide rate leads most other cities. If Boston had our homicide rate, 210 people would have been murdered there this year. If Baltimore had Boston’s homicide rate, only 77 people would have lost their lives here. If we had Philadelphia or Washington, D.C.’s homicide rate, we would have lost 134 or 141 citizens, respectively, numbers that have hardly been seen as possible here.
While an average of four people were murdered per week in 2010 compared to five per week in 2007, there is still work to be done.
The name of the woman shot and killed inside her home on Dec. 18 was Alethia Hawkins, not Alethia Harris as previously reported. City Paper regrets the error. In addition, the man who died as a result of the police-involved shooting on Feb. 4 in the 3700 block of Oakmont Avenue in Central Park Heights was
Glenn Brooks, a 41-year-old African-American man. He was not previously identified in this column.
Wednesday, Dec. 29
12:02 a.m. Two people were shot in the 5500 block of Richard Avenue, just a block from Harford Road. David King, a 25-year-old African-American man, was shot multiple times, at least once in the head, and died at an area hospital less than an hour later. A 23-year-old African-American woman was grazed by a bullet during the shooting but was not seriously injured.
Friday, Dec. 31
6:33 a.m. Citizens directed police to the 500 block of North Montford Avenue in McElderry Park. Bernard Clowney, a 50-year-old African-American man, was lying next to a car in the block. He had been shot several times and died at a nearby hospital at 7:06 a.m.
Saturday, Jan. 1
1:38 a.m. The first murder of 2011 occurred less than two hours into the new year. Two people were stabbed in the 1500 block of Hazel Street in Curtis Bay. A 27-year-old African-American man and a 21-year-old African-American man were taken to a hospital with lacerations to their torsos. The 27-year-old survived. The 21-year-old did not. Police are waiting until his family has been notified of his death to release his name.
4:49 p.m. Later that day, Marquise Hall, a 16-year-old African-American male, and a friend were walking in the 500 block of North Lakewood Avenue, just a block from Hall’s home. Someone came up to Hall and his friend and began shooting. Both Hall and his friend tried to run away. The friend was able to evade the gunman. Hall was hit repeatedly and died at an area hospital at 5:18 p.m. Hall is the second person murdered in McElderry Park this week.
Sunday, Jan. 2
7:30 p.m. Hezikah Wilson, a 38-year-old African-American man, was discovered on a front porch in the 5600 block of Plymouth Road in Northeast Baltimore. He had been shot in the shoulder and died about 45 minutes later at a local hospital.
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