Baltimore appears to be seeing — or hearing — far fewer gunshots in 2024.

There is some question about how often the sounds ShotSpotter alerts are actually gunshots, but so far this year the number of ShotSpotter alerts has fallen dramatically.

Baltimore’s reduction in homicides has garnered national attention — from the White House, no less. But it’s not just homicides. All shootings, including non-fatal ones, are down significantly compared to last year, and this ShotSpotter data suggests there are also fewer gunshots being fired, too.

From Jan. 1 to May 20, 2023, ShotSpotter alerted 148 gunshots in Upton and Sandtown-Winchester, the two neighborhoods with the most alerts. That was roughly one gunshot per day in two bordering neighborhoods that account for just over a square mile. Through the same time this year, there were just 62 gunshots detected there.

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Data on 911 calls from Baltimore shows ShotSpotter — a widely used and often controversial gunshot alert system — detected 564 potential gunshots through May 20 of this year, the last date for which data was available. That’s a 39% drop in gunshots since the same time last year and the lowest total since the system’s first full year of operation in 2019.

There were nearly 1,000 potential gunshots detected in the city through May 20 in both 2021 and 2022, and 929 last year.

There are 235 microphones in Baltimore’s ShotSpotter system, and they aren’t placed evenly throughout the city. They are clustered in two main areas in the heart of the city, both majority-Black areas in parts of Baltimore’s Black Butterfly, according to leaked ShotSpotter locations first reported by Wired.

ShotSpotter uses audio sensors to identify “gunshot-like sounds.” The system notifies police where gunfire might have occurred, according to software developer SoundThinking. The company was known as ShotSpotter Inc. until rebranding in 2021.

It’s unclear whether gunshots in other parts of the city are also down, though crime data from the city shows homicides and non-fatal shootings are also historically low.

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Through May 31, there were 67 homicides and 179 non-fatal shootings in Baltimore, the lowest totals for both since at least 2015. The combined total of 246 homicides and non-fatal shootings marks the first time since 2015 with a total lower than 300. Baltimore Police list 71 homicides through May 31 because their count includes incidents from prior years that were later classified as homicides this year.

Baltimore’s drop in gun violence extends to youth victims. Far fewer young people have been shot in the city. There were just 22 high school-aged teens shot as of June 1, compared to 61 this time last year.