Baltimore Mayor Jack Young pleaded with his city to stop filling hospital beds with gunshot wound victims.
A mass shooting in a park on Tuesday left seven Baltimore residents hospitalized. Ina statementabout the shooting, Young said hospitals don’t have room to tolerate gunshot victims as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the United States.
“We cannot clog up our hospitals and their beds with people that are being shot senselessly, because we’re going to need those beds for people who might be infected with the coronavirus,” Young said on Wednesday. “And it could be your mother, your grandmother, or one of your relatives. So take that into consideration.”
He added, “I want to reiterate how completely unacceptable the level of violence is that we have seen recently. We will not stand for mass shootings and an increase in crime.”
Young said that the city would be looking to arrest those responsible for any shootings that take place, saying, “For those of you who want to continue to shoot and kill people of this city, we’re not going to tolerate it. We’re going to come after you, and we’re going to get you.”
There has been an uptick in gun violence since Friday, according to Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison. The mass shooting on Tuesday night left all seven victims in serious, but stable, condition. One responding officer was also shot during the incident, and the department is still searching for the gunman.
Young declared acitywide emergencyand urged people to stay inside. Baltimore had five positive cases of the coronavirus as of Wednesday.
Homicides and gun violence have long been a problem for Baltimore. Young has been criticized for not taking responsibility for the problems in his city. He hasbrushed off such criticisms, saying, “I’m not committing the murders … It’s not any lack of leadership on my part. I’ve been moving this city forward.”