Amidst the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic that threatens to cause shortages of hospital beds and staffing supplies, Baltimore mayor Jack Young’s pleaded with his city’s inhabitants to stop shooting each other so hospital beds can be used for coronavirus patients.
“I have signed a declaration for a local state of emergency,” Young said in a press conference Wednesday.
The announcement came after news of multiple shootings and hospitalizations in Baltimore Tuesday night. A total of seven people were shot during one such incident.
While the violence in Baltimore often flies under the media’s radar despite rivaling levels seen in third-world countries, Young noted that this new wave of violence amidst coronavirus is “completely unacceptable.”
“I want to reiterate how completely unacceptable the level of violence is that we have seen recently,” Young stated, adding, “We will not stand for mass shootings and an increase in crime.”
“We cannot clog up our hospitals and their beds with people that are being shot senselessly because we’re going to need those beds for people infected with the coronavirus,” Young concluded. “And it could be your mother, your grandmother or one of your relatives. So take that into consideration.”
According to CBS 13 Baltimore, police are reporting an upswing in violent crime in Baltimore amidst the coronavirus pandemic:
Commissioner Michael Harrison said the city has seen an uptick in violent crimes since Friday, including a mass shooting Tuesday night — where seven people were shot. Five people were transported to area hospitals via medics and two took private cars to the hospitals for treatment. All seven are in serious but stable condition.
Harrison said they are looking for a Silver Honda that was seen in the area.
A city officer who was on patrol in that microzone did engage with a person who’s believed to be a suspect in the shooting as the man was fleeing the scene.
The officer was not armed with the level of “deadly firepower” that the suspect had. The officer did fire his weapon, but Harrison said police don’t know if the officer struck the suspect.
The officer sustained some minor injuries in the incident and was treated.
The police department is increasing staffing in the areas where crime has increased.
Some residents have reportedly called for hospitals to turn away individuals injured in gang-related violence, but such views were quickly castigated as “racist” on social media.