Man, woman fatally shot in West Baltimore Wednesday

A double shooting in the middle of the day Wednesday in West Baltimore killed a man and a woman not far from where four people were shot in the afternoon a day earlier.

The double homicide occurred as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced a news conference for Thursday morning with Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein. A news release said it would offer an "important announcement on crime reductions efforts," but officials declined to elaborate.

Both homicides and nonfatal shootings have increased across the city so far this year compared with the same period last year. Twenty-three people have been killed over the past 21 days, and nonfatal shootings over the past month are up 115 percent compared with the same period last year.

If the increase in nonfatal shootings continues, it would reverse six consecutive years of decreases.

Wednesday's shootings, meanwhile, continued a recent trend of increased multi-victim shootings, as well as an unusually high number of female victims.

Police said the victims were shot just before noon in the first block of N. Fulton Ave., in the Franklin Square neighborhood. The victims' ages and identities were not immediately available.

Twenty-seven people have been killed in the Police Department's Western District, where 30 were killed all of last year.

The shooting occurred about one mile southwest of the 600 block of N. Carrollton Ave., where four people were shot while sitting on front steps Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier that day, two people were shot — one fatally — in the 1800 block of E. Lanvale St. in East Baltimore, and on Wednesday police identified the victim as 24-year-old Trey Powell, of the 1600 block of N. Caroline St. Police have not made any arrests in Powell's killing, and asked anyone with information to call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100.

Police also said there had been a shooting Wednesday afternoon in East Baltimore, but later said an assault had been committed but was not a shooting. Representatives of the department could not immediately explain the discrepancy.

jfenton@baltsun.com