BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Police are investigating after a lawyer and community leader from Safe Streets was shot dead in southeast Baltimore on Sunday.
Officers responded to the Douglas Court block of 200 at around 11:17 a.m. and found that the 30-year-old man had been shot in the head.
He was taken to Johns Hopkins, where he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and police confirmed the victim is Dante Barksdale, a community leader Scott described as "the heart and soul of Safe Streets," where Barksdale worked for nine years.
“My heart is broken by the loss of my friend Dante Barksdale, a beloved community leader who dedicated his life to saving lives in Baltimore. He was the heart and soul of Safe Streets where he worked for 9 years. His death is a great loss to Safe Streets, the communities they serve and the entire city of Baltimore. I send my deepest condolences and prayers to Dante's family at this tragic time. "Scott said in part in a statement on Sunday.
He said he would not allow "those who commit suicide to dim the light of their work".
“In addition to being a respected member of the Safe Streets team, Dante was a beloved friend of so many in Baltimore. He turned his life around and worked tirelessly for nearly a decade to prevent gun violence in our communities by working with those who were at greatest risk of being the shooter or the victim of gunfire. Our office mourns this pointless loss of life with the rest of Baltimore City and is committed to honoring its life and light by continuing to work to end gun violence in our city once and for all. "Said Shantay Jackson, director of the mayor's neighborhood security and engagement bureau.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison also released a statement on Sunday:
“The men and women of the Baltimore Police Department offer our deepest condolences to the Dante Barksdale family. His work in public relations, conflict mediation and the reduction of armed violence in our city has been invaluable and he embodied a message of salvation and peace for the many young people in our city. "
Baltimore City Councilor Zeke Cohen called the violence and loss of Barksdale "more than devastating".
The loss of Dante Barksdale to violence is more than devastating.
He was one of the first people I spoke to about The Healing City Act.
“Baltimore will never get better until we break the cycle. Trauma eats away at every facet of our life. "
Today someone else's trauma has taken away his being. pic.twitter.com/BiwQX1mbk5
– Zeke Cohen (@Zeke_Cohen) January 17, 2021
City Council President Nick Mosby offered condolences to Barksdale's family, saying he used his life to save others and prevent gun violence on the streets.
Dante Barksdale used his life to save others by preventing gun violence on our streets. He hit a multitude of chances of doing it. Dante was my friend, and I, along with countless others, mourn the murder of this extraordinary man. I would like to express my condolences to his family and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/g4ypsJZqzo
– Nick J. Mosby (@Nick_Mosby) January 17, 2021
Investigate homicide detectors. Anyone with information on this murder is asked to call the detectives at (410) 396-2100. If someone wants to remain anonymous, they can call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7lockup.