Baltimore Sees Significant Year-Over-Year Violent Crime Reduction in January

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The first month of 2024 showed a continuing downward trend in homicides and non-fatal shootings citywide after 2023’s historic drop. Baltimore Witness data sourced from Baltimore Police Department (BPD) press releases showed a total of 16 homicides and 27 non-fatal shootings for the month, down from 26 homicides and 43 non-fatal shootings in January 2023 — 38% and 37% reductions respectively.

Of the nine Baltimore police districts, two-thirds saw fewer homicides this January than last year’s. The Northeast District also ended January 2024 with the same amount it had in January 2023: zero. The Southeast District also had zero homicides this month, down from two homicides over the same time frame last year. 

Only the Northwest District had an increase, with four homicides compared to January 2023’s three. All four of those murders took place on the same block, the 5200 block of Fairlawn Avenue. Three men were killed there on Jan. 19, and a 68-year-old man was killed in a mechanic’s garage days later on Jan. 24. 

The Southern District had the same rate as last year, again with four homicides. Among them was the case of six-year-old Seron O’Neal, who was stabbed to death on Jan. 23. Baltimore Police Department officers have since arrested Alan Geslicki, O’Neal’s mother’s boyfriend, suspected of the murder. 

The Southern and Northwest districts had the greatest numbers of homicides; every other district had less than four. 

Last January’s deadliest district was the Central District, with five homicides. This year, that same area only had two reported killings. Investigators have already apprehended a suspect in one of the two cases. BPD arrested a Prince George’s County man regarding the Jan. 4 death of 31-year-old Antoine Johnson on Jan. 22.

The sole death attributed to the Western District this January was a vehicular homicide; whereas there were two fatal shootings and one fatal stabbing last January.

The Southwest District saw a year-over-year homicide reduction of two, with the only reported homicide being 34-year-old Sean Hennessy, who was found in a vacant home on the 1100 block of West Baltimore Street. The Eastern and Northern districts both saw reductions of one homicide compared to last January. 

In non-fatal shootings, eight police districts had declining violence rates year-over-year. The sole district where non-fatal shootings increased was the Eastern District, which had three non-fatal shootings this year and two in January 2023. In one of the Eastern District’s reported incidents, a 17-year-old told BPD officers he was shot in the face on the 3200 block of Harwell Avenue.

The Southeast and Southwest districts both had year-over-year reductions of four incidents, with January 2024 totals of two and three non-fatal shootings respectively. The Southern District also reported two non-fatal shootings, a reduction of one from the previous January.

The Central District led the city in non-fatal shootings this month with a total of four incidents. One such incident involved a 22-year-old woman sustaining multiple gunshot wounds inside a parking garage on Jan. 1. Police arrested 30-year-old Jamal Artis on the scene at the unit block of Guilford Avenue. 

The Western, Northeast and Northwest districts all reported three non-fatal shootings this month. Teens in both the Northeast and Western districts walked into local hospitals with gunshot wounds this month, leading BPD investigators to locate the crime scenes associated with their shootings.

The fewest non-fatal shootings occurred in the Northern District, with one reported in January 2023. 

There were three non-fatal shootings for which the locations were undetermined. 

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