Two homicides occurred in Baltimore on Saturday despite the city's 72-hour "ceasefire" initiative, a campaign promoted by local activists to stop violence and call for a murder-free weekend in the city.
Activist Erricka Bridgeford, 44, and other community leaders promoted the "Baltimore ceasefire," which began at midnight early Friday and continued through Sunday night, using the slogan, "Nobody kill anybody for 72 hours."
About 40 hours into the ceasefire, however, two men were shot and killed, the Baltimore Sun reported. The first victim of violence was a 24-year-old man who was fatally shot around 5 p.m. on Saturday. Just hours later, around 10 p.m., a 37-year-old-man was also shot and killed. Both victims were taken to the hospital and died there.
A third man, 22, was taken to the hospital after suffering a gunshot wound to the arm on Saturday afternoon, Fox45 reported.
Participants of the ceasefire campaign convened at the scene of the shooting to comfort relatives and neighbors of the victim.
Bridgeford posted on Facebook Sunday morning to keep morale high after the two homicides.
"The #BaltimoreCeasefire has NOT ended," Bridgeford wrote. "If you are going to run around here acting defeated, A. Part of me wants to give you this nub to your eye, and then, to hug you, and B. You are not ready for this revolution. It's fine. But please sit down & quiet yourself. Stop panicking out loud. Find a corner & watch us keep GETTING THIS WORK."
Bridgeford started the Baltimore ceasefire to curb the city's high number of homicides. By the end of July, there had been 204 homicides in Baltimore, a record number for the Maryland city.
The campaign garnered the support of thousands on social media.
"The goal is for everyone in the city to know that Baltimore is committing to no shootings, no stabbings, etc… no murders during the first weekend in August. WE CAN DO IT! Let's go," the Baltimore Ceasefire's Facebook page states.
The ceasefire's organizers also sold t-shirts to help promote their cause. Profits from the shirts were used to "buy materials to FLOOD Baltimore with the message, ‘#NobodyKillAnybody August 4th through August 6th,'" according to the organization's Facebook page.
The group also collected donations leading up to the weekend, intending to give the money to the first family to lose someone to violence during the ceasefire.