Baltimore police were investigating six shootings Saturday that occurred in less than 20 hours, including a fatal one a block away from the Preakness Stakes horse race. The shootings left four men and two women wounded.
Homicide detectives were immediately sent to the scene of the shooting near the Pimlico Race Course because of the seriousness of the man's injuries. Police said the victim was taken to a hospital, where he died.
The incident occurred less than two hours before more than 110,000 people at the track watched California Chrome win the track's marquee event, the second leg of the Triple Crown.
About 300 police officers had been scheduled to be in the neighborhood as security was ramped up in the wake of last year’s Boston Marathon bombings, WBAL-TV reported this week.
The rash of shootings in Baltimore began Friday night when a man and woman in an alley were shot and wounded, the man in the hand, the woman in the chin. They managed to walk to a hospital where, police said, they were in stable condition.
At about 1 a.m. Saturday, a woman near Morgan State University was struck by bullets, police said. Within an hour, a man riding a bike in downtown Baltimore suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder. Both were in stable condition.
In separate afternoon incidents, two men were shot in the leg. One shooting happened downtown and the other just north.
Police were involved in a shooting Friday afternoon. Plainclothes officers shot a bicyclist whom they had pulled over in an area being targeted for extra enforcement because of an increase in violence. Though police said the bicyclist was armed and tried to run away, witnesses told reporters that the use of force was unnecessary. Police said the victim was in stable condition.
Baltimore has seen about two homicides or aggravated assaults involving a gun each day, according to police data covering Jan. 1 through May 10. In the city of 620,000, that's down from a three-year average of about 2.5 shootings a day during the same period.