There was an element of luck in this week's low number of homicides: there were 11 non-fatal shootings reported as well. The police department says it is solving more murders, but its clearance rate for 2016, just under 40 percent, is still lower than other big cities, and those other cities' rates are lower than they used to be. At least 290 of last year's 318 Baltimore homicide victims were African-American—over 91 percent of the victims. As in previous years, four out of five were killed outside, most of those on the streets of the city's neighborhoods called by some the "Black Butterfly" because of the shape of Baltimore's geographic segregation. Police Commissioner Kevin Davis says 85 percent of the victims had criminal records, with an average of 11 previous arrests. City Paper does not publicize the court records of murder victims but, for what it's worth, two of this week's three victims had no criminal record that we could find.
Monday, January 2
6:10 p.m. Jamal Washington, a 38-year-old African-American man, was on the 3600 block of S. Hanover Street in Brooklyn when someone shot him in the head. Police say Washington was with two other men when the shooter walked out of an alley, shot him, and ran back into the alley. Medics took Washington to Shock Trauma, where he died the next day.
Wednesday, January 4
8:32 p.m. Timothy Stephens, a 32-year-old African-American man, was in an apartment on the 900 block of Pennsylvania Avenue when someone shot him in the torso. Police were called to a home invasion robbery at the location and found him there. Stephens died later at a hospital. He had resided on the unit block of Janet Lane, according to police.
Saturday, January 7
12:12 a.m. Jeffry Douglas, a 47-year-old African-American man, was on the 400 block of Parksley Avenue when someone shot him more than once. He died soon after at Shock Trauma. Douglas had lived on the 1700 block of N. Bentalou Street, according to police.
The man shot to death on the 1500 block of N. Bentalou Street on January 3 has been identified. He was Davonte Jackson, a 24-year-old African-American man who lived on the 2300 block of Anoka Street.