Roughly 36 hours after an early Sunday morning shooting at a Baltimore block party killed two people and injured 28 others, authorities shared new details about the deadly incident as the search for suspects continues.
During a press conference on Monday, officials implored people to come forward if they have any relevant information about the mass shooting in the Brooklyn Homes neighborhood and announced a variety of support programs for members of the community in Maryland.
“We are doing everything in our power to ensure that the horrific violence that occurred this weekend is not repeated either in Brooklyn or in any other neighborhood across Baltimore,” said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, a Democrat.
Acting Baltimore City Police Commissioner Richard Worley said detectives were interviewing witnesses and reviewing video footage from the “Brooklyn Day” celebration that officials estimated to have hundreds of people.
Worley said investigators recovered multiple weapons and casings at the scene. The police chief said anyone who had weapons at the block party, including a young man allegedly seen in social media video footage pulling a semi-automatic gun out of a backpack, is considered a suspect until if and when authorities determine otherwise.
“Right now, our detectives are still working through interviewing every one of the victims,” Worley said. “We will continue to pursue any leads so that’s why we need the help from the community because we have only touched some of the video that’s out there. Everyone had had their cameras working and had their phones working and there’s much more video out there that we have to look at.”
As of press time, officials have not released a motive nor any identifying information about suspects, but Worley said his department will be making releases to help investigators identify individuals they are seeking to interview.
As seen in a “Metro Crime Stoppers” poster issued on Monday, an award of up to $28,000 was being offered with the assistance of the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for information leading up to arrests and charges.
Homicide detectives need your help in locating those responsible for the death of 20-year-old Kylis Fagbemi and 18-year-old Aaliyah Gonzalez.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7Lockup.
Metro Crime Stoppers Of Maryland pic.twitter.com/sP952ABW0V
— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) July 3, 2023
The poster also showed photos of the two victims who were killed in the shooting that took place at approximately 12:32 a.m. on Sunday. They have been identified as 20-year-old Kylis Fagbemi and 18-year-old Aaliyah Gonzalez.
Among the 28 victims who were wounded, 15 were between the ages of 13 and 17, according to Worley. He said the 13 other injured victims were between the ages of 18 and 32.
Seven victims remain in a hospital and four of them are in critical condition, Scott said during the Monday press conference.
Stefanie Mavronis, interim director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE), said she had information indicating some members of her staff deescalated three to four conflicts at the scene earlier in the evening, but she said they were not present at the time of the shooting.
Worley faced multiple questions about why officers were not on the scene at the scene of such a large event. Worley said the event lacked a permit and police did not know it was taking place until hours before the shooting.
The police chief denied that staffing was an issue, insisting that officers could have been moved to that location, and he noted that a review is underway to determine any shortcomings in the response.
Pressed on whether there was poor communication among city officials, Scott said “We are going to investigate every breakdown … but what we are not going to do is stand up here and try to make this about some organization’s decisions, or what they did, or what they did not do.”
The mayor also characterized gun violence across the United States as a “public health challenge” that demands the public’s focus with “the same vigor” that the COVID pandemic received while bemoaning gun trafficking across state lines, “ghost guns,” and a lack of smart technology on firearms.