Baltimore reached a heartbreaking milestone this week when the city’s homicide tally hit 200.
A woman was shot and killed in the 1500 block of West Baltimore Street in the Franklin Square neighborhood in the early morning Thursday, marking the 200th murder in 2013, according to The Baltimore Sun.
"Any life lost in this city is a horrific issue that takes place," Police Commissioner Anthony Batts told the newspaper. "I’m not so much focused on the numbers but the lives that have been lost in the city."
Although the number of homicides has dropped from more than 300 a year in the 1990s, critics of the way Baltimore has addressed crime are quick to point out the city’s population has declined as well.
This year will make it back-to-back years in Charm City in which the number of homicides has reached more than 200. The uptick in homicides comes just two years after elected officials celebrated what they said was a turning point, when 197 murders were tallied in 2011, the fewest since the 1970s.
Last year, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts told a community meeting the number of homicides was up because of gangs, primarily fighting between the Black Guerilla Family and the Blood subset Tree Top Pirus.
"These guys were just assassins. These weren’t just regular shootings," Batts said at the time.