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Community leader says violent weekend sign to push harder

Community leader says violent weekend is a sign to push harder

BALTIMORE -- WBFF -- A community leader is speaking out after a dozen people were shot in eight cases across Baltimore over the weekend.

Five of those shooting victims died of their injuries.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Ericka Bridgeford, co-founder of the local, anti-violence group Ceasefire.

Fox 45 spoke with Bridgeford Sunday, as she performed a prayer ritual for a man who had been killed earlier this month. A practice Ceasefire members perform for each homicide victim in Baltimore.

Bridgeford said she’s troubled by the rash of weekend violence, but not deterred by it.

“Sometimes things are just better and sometimes things just suck,” said Bridgeford. “I don't think it’s one particular thing that sparks it. I think there is a long history of things that get us in dark places. Sometimes the darkness is just more obvious at different points."

A total of 12 people were shot across Baltimore from Friday night through Sunday. Of the 12 people shot five of them died of their injuries.

The majority of the shootings occurred in the southwest district of the city and involved men.

The first call for service came around 8 p.m. Friday.

Officers were called to Phelps Lane where they found a 28-year-old man with gunshot wounds. He was taken to an area hospital and last listed in critical condition.

A second shooting victim, a 27-year-old man later showed up to an area hospital.

Police believe both of the men were shot on Phelps Lane. No word on a motive.

About an hour later police said a 28-year-old man was shot on Carey Street in west Baltimore.

Then, around 10:30 p.m. police were called to the 3500 block of West Belvedere Avenue in northwest Baltimore.

According to police, there they found a 19-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the chest.

Investigators believe he was walking in the area when he was shot by an unidentified suspect. The victim flagged down a good Samaritan, who transported him to the hospital. The teen was last listed in critical condition.

Approximately five minutes later and on the other side of the city officers responded to the 500 block of North East Avenue.

There officers found a 25-year-old man with two gunshot wounds to the chest. The man later died at the hospital.

A short time later police were notified of a walk-in shooting victim at an area hospital. A 52-year-old man had gunshot wounds to his shoulder, neck and hand and was last listed in serious condition.

Finally, at 11:13 p.m. Friday officers were called to the 3000 block of Raynor Avenue for a report of a shooting. When officers arrived they found an 18-year-old woman with a gunshot wound to the head. The teen was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers also located a second victim in the shooting. No word on an age or gender.

On Saturday the violence continued with a double homicide.

Officers were called to the 3900 block of West Mulberry Street in southwest Baltimore around 11:27 p.m..

There officers found a 65-year-old woman and 22-year-old man with gunshot wounds.

Both victims were transported to an area hospital where they were pronounced dead.

Approximately 10 minutes later police were called to the 3500 block of Noble Street for a reported shooting.

Officers found a 37-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his arm.

Investigators believe an unidentified suspect attempted to rob the victim and shot him when he attempted to flee the area.

On Sunday, another homicide occurred in the city.

Officers were called to the 500 block of Normandy Avenue in southwest Baltimore around 1:45 p.m..

There officers found a 25-year-old man with gunshot wounds to his head and upper body.

The victim was transported to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Bridgeford told Fox 45 she views this violence as a sign for the city to push harder.

The co-founder of Ceasefire is in the midst of planning Baltimore’s fourth Ceasefire campaign.

“It means we need to be in these streets deeper, in the roots of this city digging up pain and helping people heal,” said Bridgeford. “That's all that means to me. It doesn't mean it must not be working. We must be willing to go to a deeper level. We are the only people who can save us and we will do it.”

No word on any arrests.

Baltimore Police did not comment on the shootings Sunday, but a spokesperson said the department will address the violence Monday.

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