CP on Facebook


CP on Twitter
Print Email


Summer of the gun

A project that began as way to try and make some kind of sense of the violence in our city.

Photo: J.M. Giordano, License: N/A

J.M. Giordano

It’s mid-July and it’s over 100 degrees and there’s no shade. Anywhere. A red mass drips down the curb and onto the hot street. A police officer kneels at a bicycle left behind by the alleged shooter. Outside the crime scene, an elderly resident hides behind a great black umbrella, and Rev. Milton Williams is shaking his head.“Baltimore streets run red with blood every summer,” says the bald holy man, sweating in his impeccable suit. “This year is no different.”

He’s not correct. The summer of 2013 is different—it’s worse. Since the beginning of the steamy season, non-fatal shootings in Baltimore City are up 23 percent from last year, according to police. There have been three, four, seven people shot at the same time. Davon Ockimey, Montae Higgins, and 15-year-old Deshaun Jones were all alive and well at the beginning of the summer, watching their kids, spending time with their relatives, or, in the case of Jones, nurturing a budding rap career. They’re gone now.

Their funerals, street corners, and front stoops have all passed by my lens since I started the Summer of the Gun project in early July.

I began the project to try to make some kind of sense of the violence in our city. To try to get my head around why this happens. I wanted to show people what it was really like in the neighborhoods, in the streets that they may not be familiar with. To go beyond the quick flashes of rotating police lights and cross-street signs seen on the evening news. To talk to people about what it’s like living in a world most of us will never have to know.

  • The Art of Organizing MICA’s adjunct faculty moves to unionize, and academics everywhere watch to see what happens | 3/19/2014
  • Crime Family Urged by husband David Simon, Laura Lippman takes on a real-life Mobtown mystery | 2/5/2014
  • Simon on Salsbury David Simon shares his theories on the story of Julius Salsbury, which inspired his wife’s new novel | 2/5/2014
  • Excerpt from After I’m Gone They left at dusk, about an hour before the fireworks were scheduled | 2/5/2014
  • The Quiet Revolution Can Heather Mizeur ride Maryland’s wave of progressive politics to the governor’s office? | 1/15/2014
  • Great Expectations Baltimore’s youngest councilman has high hopes for himself and for his city | 1/8/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus