The murders of a 27 year old man and a 22 year old man sends Baltimore’s homicide rate past the 300 homicide mark for the first time since 1999.
The stabbing of the 27 year old and the shooting death of the 22 year old pushed the Maryland metropolis up on the nation’s highest homicide list, only second to the city of St. Louis, the same location of the Ferguson riots last year. Critics say that the rise came after the riots that followed the police custody death of Freddie Gray in May, when 42 of the city’s homicides occurred.
There have also been claims that a deliberate work stoppage by the Baltimore PD since the arrests of the officers involved in Gray’s death has caused the murders to spike, but Baltimore Police officials deny those claims.
The deadliest month was in July, which yielded 45 murders.
Police Commissioner Kevin Davis called the count a “sad milestone,” vowing that “Baltimore will win again,” come the next year.
“This challenging moment shall pass if we reject blame and embrace the hope, dreams and promise of a great American city. Baltimore will win again, 2015 will not define us, and the nation will once again see our city for the determination that has long defined us.”