US

Baltimore Records 200th Murder of the Year After Woman Found Shot Dead

By Zachary Stieber

Two hundred murders have taken place in Baltimore this year after a 32-year-old woman was found shot dead in her car over the weekend.

The death of the woman, who was found dead in the parking lot of the Seminole Court Apartments, marked the city’s 200th homicide this year, according to the Baltimore Sun.

One resident, Maria Ray, said that residents have become accustomed to violence in the murder-riddled city.

The death toll is “scary, frightening, and sad. But it’s not new,” Ray told the Sun. “We’re kind of used to it. It’s very sad for the family, and we’ll be praying for them. The rest of us will keep doing what we do.”

A University of Maryland police officer wears a purple ribbon symbolizing the commemoration of gun violence victims during a Baltimore Ceasefire “peace walk” to push for a 72-hour weekend period without any homicides and commemorate victims of gun violence in Baltimore, Maryland, on Aug. 2, 2019. (Alastair Pike/AFP/Getty Images)

The Sun’s Baltimore homicide tracker hasn’t been updated since Aug. 3, making it possible the toll is over 200 by now.

Baltimore had the highest murder rate of a major U.S. metropolitan area in 2018, with 309 killings. The number of homicides in the four years prior were: 342 in 2017, 318 in 2016, 342 in 2015, and 211 in 2014.

The pace for 2019 is the highest except for 2017. Thirty-eight killings took place in July this year, the most of any month so far, with most being shootings despite strict gun control laws in the city and state.

In 2017, the last year full statistics were available for from the FBI, Baltimore saw a murder rate of 56 per 100,000 people, second only to St. Louis (66 murders per 100,000 people). Some rankings discount St. Louis because of its small size, with a population of around 318,000; if it is counted, it’s had the highest murder rate in the United States, according to Pew Research.

Michael walks down a street near where a person was recently murdered in Baltimore, Maryland on July 28, 2019. Baltimore’s 200th murder was recorded in early August. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The next highest was Detroit, which recorded a homicide rate of 40 per 100,000 people, followed by Memphis, Tennessee, with 28 homicides per 100,000 people, and Chicago, with a rate of 24 per 100,000.

Chicago sees more murders but has a population of 2.7 million to Baltimore’s approximately 619,000.

While there were 200 murders in Baltimore so far this year, Chicago has seen 293 murders as of July 27, according to the Chicago Tribune.  The city saw a peak of 413 killings in 2017 and 326 last year. Most of those murders were shootings.

According to statistics compiled by the World Atlas, Baltimore’s murder rate ranks it as the 21st most dangerous city in the world. St. Louis is 12th, the highest from the United States. New Orleans is 41st and Detroit is 42nd.

Outside view of a looted supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela on March 11, 2019. (Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images)

The top five are: Los Cabos in Mexico; Caracas, Venezuela; Acapulco, Mexico; Natal in Brazil; and Tijuana in Mexico. Overall, four of the top 10 most dangerous cities are in Mexico and three are in Brazil.

President Donald Trump drew attention to Baltimore’s crime and other conditions recently, calling out Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) for not doing enough to improve the lives of his constituents.

His administration said that $16 billion was sent to Cummings’s district last year alone and Trump said that the money was stolen.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned earlier this year after an investigation revealed she took in hundreds of thousands of dollars in the sale of her children’s books to a single buyer. Video footage was recently highlighted showing Pugh walking around the city calling it a “warzone” and saying: “You can smell the rats.”