Baltimore's 2015 Homicides Have Already Matched Last Year's Total

The mayor pleaded for help curbing the gunslingers.

Baltimore recorded its 211th homicide Wednesday, matching the total for all of last year.

In the latest wave of death, a man was fatally shot in the Penn North neighborhood after 10 a.m., the Baltimore Sun reports. That followed two killings on Tuesday night. The homicide surge may put Baltimore on pace to reach 300 homicides this year, a number the city hasn't seen since 1999. 

The sad mark prompted Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to call for more gun control. She likened her city to the Wild West.

"There are four major strands that are impacting the homicide rate in Baltimore,"Rawlings-Blake said at a news conference Wednesday, according to WBAL. "We can trace it and we can trace the players. There are known entities who are battling it out on the streets like this is the Wild, Wild West, and we need help."

The mayor acknowledged that gun laws in Maryland are strict, but called for tougher federal gun control because it's easy to get deadly weapons in other states and bring them to Baltimore.

Baltimore's homicide increase and its police response have been embarrassments to the city for months. In May, homicides rose and arrests plummeted as Baltimore residents worried their police force had abandoned them over the indictments of six officers in the Freddie Gray case.

The arrest problem, however, seems to have subsided. From July 15 to July 31, cops made 1,318 arrests, almost double the 771 arrests that officers made from May 15 to May 31, WBAL reports.

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