Baltimore recorded 19 homicides in July, the lowest total since 2015 in what is typically the city’s deadliest month of the year.

As of Wednesday, 159 people have been killed in 2023 — a 25% decline from this time last year, when the city had recorded 211 homicides. The city has also seen a 7% reduction in nonfatal shootings for the year.

Mayor Brandon Scott touted the city’s public safety efforts at a news conference Wednesday morning, thanking the Baltimore Police Department, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, “our communities, and everyone who has helped bring us to this point where we are going to continue this work and continue this momentum each and every day.”

If the current pace of homicides continues, 2023 would make the first time in five years that the rate decreased, as well as the first year since 2014 that less than 300 people lose their lives in Baltimore, according to a Baltimore Banner analysis, which also found that the reduction in violence is not being felt evenly across the city. Another Baltimore Banner analysis found that high school-age teenagers have been shot in record numbers this year, despite the overall reduction in homicides and nonfatal shootings.

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The news conference fell on the one month anniversary of a mass shooting at the Brooklyn Homes complex that left two dead and 28 wounded. Acting Police Commissioner Richard Worley pledged to deliver a report assessing BPD’s failure to prevent the incident and the agency’s follow-up, telling officials he would release it within 30 to 45 days. Scott said he has yet to see the report. “When I see it, you’ll see it,” he told members of the media.

Asked about Banner reporting that found that city housing workers discarded what could have been a trove of evidence in the wake of the shooting, Scott said he has utmost confidence in the detectives who are working the investigation. “Those detectives, the actual professionals, determine what stuff should be moved and when it should be moved, so I have no concerns about that,” he said.

The council will hold a second hearing into the Scott administration’s response to the Brooklyn Day shooting in September.

Baltimore Banner reporter Justin Fenton contributed to this report.

Emily Sullivan covers Baltimore City Hall. She joined the Banner after three years at WYPR, where she won multiple awards for her radio stories on city politics and culture. She previously reported for NPR’s national airwaves, focusing on business news and breaking news.

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