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Three dead in Baltimore, as city contends with homicide spike

In 2014, Baltimore had 211 recorded killings. This number has increased dramatically in 2015, as city officials recorded the 200th homicide of the year in early August.

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    Members of the Baltimore Police Department stand near the scene of a shooting, July 27, in Baltimore. 2015 has been a violent year in the city of Baltimore. Three homicides took place Thursday.
    Patrick Semansky/AP/File
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Three men died Thursday in a shooting in Baltimore, Md., and police are investigating why.

Police say they found the three victims with gunshot wounds as they were patrolling the city around 10:40 p.m. Thursday evening. While shootings are a frequent occurrence in a city that has earned the nickname Bodymore, Murderland, the situation has drawn national attention in recent months following the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who was fatally injured while in police custody.

In 2014, Baltimore had 211 recorded killings. But this number has increased dramatically in 2015, as city officials recorded the 200th homicide of the year in early August. In May, the month after Mr. Gray’s death, the city recorded more than 100 shootings and over 40 homicides.

Now, residents say it’s difficult to know which of their neighbors will be targeted next, and that parents of young black men are worried about what will happen to their children. 

“You know how you walk down the street and you walk in the midst of other people? I don’t even want to do that,” Toya Graham, a Baltimore mother who became Internet famous after a video of her chastising her son for participating in a clash with police went viral, told the Talking Point Memo. “I don’t know who’s being targeted for whatever reason. We just don’t know.”

Still, some residents argue that the spike in crime in America is being overblown.

“I think it’s unfortunate when the media talks a lot about these crime spikes.... It tends to scare the public,” Inimai Chettiar, director of the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, told The Christian Science Monitor in June. “A lot of people don’t even know there was a massive crime decline.”

Following Thursday’s shooting, one of the men died at the scene while the other two died after being transported to local hospitals. Police recovered handguns from two of the victims, but have not released information about the identities of the men or a possible motive for the shooting. 

This report contains material from the Associated Press.

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