Parrine said she feared Friday's shooting could have hit closer to home. Her two grown daughters leave the house five minutes before 6 a.m. each day to go to work — one is a medical assistant, the other works in medical billing.

But one daughter held them up Friday. She had to stop to use the bathroom one last time before leaving the house.

"She could've been outside" at the time of the shooting, she said.

"I'm so sick of it," she said of the violence.

A large "mobile police station" bus was parked at Fremont Avenue and Bennett Place. The tactic of closing city blocks has been used in Baltimore in the past but less frequently after a federal appeals court ruled that similar efforts in Washington were a violation of constitutional rights.

At two corner stores, H and H Grocer and UAC Food Mart, shoppers did a double-take when they saw the officers and several marked police cruisers.

"They have been around walking the block, but that doesn't seem to stop it," said Patrick Johnson, 32, who lives nearby.

After Friday's shooting, he said, he's looking to move. He will no longer let his three boys, ages 10, 8, and 5, play outside when he's not home. Even when he is home, he said he's reluctant to go outside himself. After working at his job in demolition, he said, he'd like to just sit outside on his steps and sip a beer, but he can't.

"It makes me scared to sit outside," he said. "It doesn't feel safe."

The total number of city killings this year now stands at 116, the highest midyear homicide count since the summer of 2007.

At that time, the city was in crisis. With 155 homicides at the end of June, it was on pace to reach 300 homicides by the end of the year, a number the city hadn't seen since the 1990s. In July 2007, Frederick H. Bealefeld III was named acting commissioner and charged by Mayor Sheila Dixon with curbing the rise.

Over Bealefeld's tenure — he was replaced by Anthony W. Batts last year — the city's homicide numbers dropped. In 2011, the city finished the year with 197 — the first count below 200 since the 1970s.

Before this week, the city had been closer to the midyear homicide average from recent years.

City officials say police need help solving the crimes.

"We can't accept this," said Maj. Richard Worley of the Northeast District, after Shird and the two other women were shot. "We need the citizens' help."

Shird did not have a criminal history, according to online court records. Her family could not be reached for comment.

The other wounded women, who have not been identified, were transported to area hospitals. One was initially listed in critical condition; the other was shot in the thigh and released after treatment.

Officers at the scene Thursday night fanned out and "spoke to several witnesses on the block," police spokesman Detective Vernon Davis said, and police were looking for "persons of interest" Friday. Police believe the shooting was related to a string of prior shootings.

At the Bennett Place homicide, there were no known witnesses and Davis said investigators were looking at possible connections between Friday's homicide and Taylor, who was killed Sunday.

Batts emphasized that the community was cooperating with police and providing information. He said violence in the city had been "trending down" before the past week.

"We're on top of the gang-related stuff and responding to it quickly," he said.

Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton contributed to this article.