A customer was shot and seriously injured in early February during a dispute at a popular bookstore, according to the police. Red Emma’s, which also serves as a coffee shop and community space, became the scene of another violent crime this year in Baltimore, which as of early February had already seen 37 deaths.
The Baltimore police said that the gunman was dressed in dark clothing with a hat, and possibly a mask, when he entered Red Emma’s on W. North Ave. A dispute ensued, which resulted in the gunman shooting the victim in the upper body before fleeing, according to the police.
Lt. Jarron Jackson, a spokesman for the police, said “We believe the suspect and the victim had some sort of relationship with each other.”
This shooting followed a “call to action” meeting held by the mayor to help seek solutions to violence in Baltimore. The seriousness of the victim’s injuries resulted in an investigation by Homicide detectives. Following the attack, police stated that the victim was at an area hospital in grave condition.
Witnesses stated that the victim was likely a regular of the coffee shop. Alerts sent to students at nearby Universities gave additional details on the attacker, stating that he was wearing a black coat, black pants, and gray New Balance sneakers. Police said that they do not believe that the attack was politically charged.
Mayor Pugh spoke on the subject, stating that she believed that the community discussions fostered at Red Emma’s are needed, and that she hopes shop patrons will not be discouraged by the shooting. More “call to action” workshops on crime prevention are slated to be held by the Mayor, who drew in about 90 people with her first event. She hopes to tighten gun laws in the city while cooperating with members of the community, criminal justice experts and advocacy groups to find solutions for the city’s violence. “Violence in our city is out of control,” Pugh said. “We have to get guns off our streets. I value the life of each and every citizen in the city, and I need the citizens to do the same.”
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