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4 Dec, 2017 21:09

Murder capital: Baltimore marks 320 homicides, higher than 2016 total

Murder capital: Baltimore marks 320 homicides, higher than 2016 total

A series of shootings resulted in Baltimore's 320th homicide this year. Killings continue as the Maryland city becomes the nation’s murder capital, pulling ahead of New York City in raw numbers and Chicago in terms of homicides per capita.

A police investigation is under way into a triple shooting in the southern Baltimore neighborhood of Brooklyn, which left one man dead and two wounded on Sunday.

These shootings come after Baltimore saw its 319th homicide of 2017 last week, surpassing the 318 killings of 2016. That grisly number still does not match the 344 homicides Baltimore saw in 2015.

In October, Baltimore surpassed New York City and Chicago as the nation's murder capital. The city has seen more murders this year than New York, despite having less than a tenth of the population. As of November 26, New York City - with 8.5 million inhabitants - had 257 murders, according to NYPD data. Baltimore has a population of less than 620,000.

While Chicago is often deemed the most dangerous city in the US, it has had 607 murders in 2017, despite having a population of 2.7 million, more than four times that of Baltimore.

Homicides continue to plague Baltimore despite efforts to broker a ceasefire by activists over the summer.

“I hope that everyone that loves Baltimore realizes that everyone has to do soul-searching for us to be better and not have this conversation again next year, so less families are suffering this trauma,” city councilman Brandon Scott, chair of the public safety committee, said in November when the murder count hit 300. “No one and no neighborhood is exempt.”

Baltimore’s murder rate has skyrocketed over the past three years, following the April 2015 riots over the death of an African-American man in police custody. Prior to 2015, the death toll had not hit 300 in one year since the record 353 killings in 1993.

In one of the high profile cases that remains unresolved, a Baltimore PD detective was killed on November 15. Detective Sean Suiter was visiting the scene of a triple homicide in West Baltimore when he was killed with a bullet to the head from his own gun after approaching a suspicious man in a vacant lot.

It was later revealed that Suiters’s death came one day before he was due to testify about police corruption. Rumors have swirled about the possibility he was killed by another officer, though police have denied the possibility. Last week the FBI announced it would take over the investigation of the case.