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1 killed, 2 wounded in Baltimore amid surge in US gun violence

12 July 2015 13:59



Separate shootings have left one person killed and two others injured in Baltimore, Maryland, amid a spike in homicides in major US cities.

Officers found a seriously injured man, 40, who was shot multiple times on Saturday, Baltimore police said. He was taken to a hospital, but was later pronounced dead.

A 48-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man were also shot in separate incidents in the early morning hours of Saturday. Both were taken to a hospital and are in stable condition.

The woman was shot in the chest and the man was shot in the shoulder, police said, but have not released the names of the victims.

Several major American cities have seen a dramatic surge in homicides in 2015, after years of decline in violent crimes, according to a new report by the Associated Press.

Houston, St. Louis, New Orleans and Baltimore have all seen significant spikes in the number of homicides this year. The totals are up in other cities, too, including New York and Chicago.

Police have struggled to stop the growing violence in Baltimore since the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, an unarmed African American man who died in police custody on April 19.

The majority-black city has witnessed about 155 murders so far this year, nearly double the number of homicides seen last year. A total of 43 people were killed in Baltimore during May, making it the deadliest month in over 40 years.

On Wednesday, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake fired the city’s Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and placed Batts’ deputy, Kevin Davis, in charge on an interim basis.

Chicago, America’s third largest city, experienced a 19 percent-surge in homicides and an increase of 21 percent in shooting incidents during the first half of the year.

Milwaukee, a city of 600,000 in Wisconsin, which had one of its lowest homicide rates last year, has seen 80 murders so far this year, more than double the 39 it had recorded at the same point last year.

In all the cities, the increase in violent crimes is disproportionately impacting on poor and predominantly African-American and Latino neighborhoods.

Concern is growing that the increase could reflect a convergence of recent shifts, including deepening distrust of police that leads people to settle disputes themselves.


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