Dante Barksdale Crusaded Towards Gun Violence in Baltimore. Then He Was Shot and Killed.
A pacesetter of a metropolis marketing campaign to quell gun violence in Baltimore who was widely known for canvassing streets liable to gang wars with phrases of reconciliation was shot and killed on Sunday, the authorities stated.
Dante Barksdale, an outreach coordinator for town’s Protected Streets program, was discovered at about 11:17 a.m. with a gunshot wound to his head close to the Douglass Properties, a public housing advanced within the southeastern a part of Baltimore, the police stated.
He was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, the place he died a short while later, officers stated.
Mr. Barksdale, 46, glided by the nickname Tater and was a nephew of Nathan Barksdale, the now-deceased narcotics trafficker often called Bodie who was an inspiration for the character Avon Barksdale within the HBO crime sequence “The Wire.” Dante Barksdale drew upon his time in jail for promoting medication and his expertise rising up within the initiatives for his outreach work.
His loss of life jolted group leaders, who acknowledged Mr. Barksdale on Sunday for his work to defuse gang violence.
Mayor Brandon M. Scott of Baltimore known as him the “coronary heart and soul” of the Protected Streets program in an announcement on Sunday.
“Whereas I’m devastated by the lack of my brother within the combat to save lots of lives in Baltimore, I can’t let those that selected to violently take his life dampen the sunshine of his work,” Mr. Scott stated. “Dante’s work saved lives. It is a sobering reminder of how harmful this frontline work is.”
It was not instantly clear if Mr. Barksdale was on the job when he was shot or if he had been focused. Murder detectives are investigating the killing, the police stated.
Michael S. Harrison, town’s police commissioner, credited Mr. Barksdale with serving to to de-escalate crimes in Baltimore.
“His work in outreach, mediating conflicts and decreasing gun violence in our metropolis was invaluable,” Mr. Harrison stated, “and he embodied a message of redemption and peace to the various younger folks of our metropolis.”
It was not instantly clear if Mr. Barksdale had any survivors.
Erricka Bridgeford, a co-founder of the gun violence prevention group Baltimore Ceasefire 365, mourned Mr. Barksdale’s loss of life in a tweet on Sunday.
“My stage of shock & ache at his homicide make my knees buckle,” Ms. Bridgeford stated. In one other submit, she added: “What I do know is that Tater’s soul is unleashed to proceed doing the work in ways in which shall be miraculous. We now have not been left alone. We simply gained a mighty warrior on this religious warfare.”
Mr. Barksdale was the topic of a sequence of profiles by native and nationwide information media shops about his outreach efforts, together with a 2014 article by The Atlantic that ran with the headline “Strolling the Streets of Baltimore With the Different Barksdale.”
Mr. Barksdale, who grew up within the metropolis’s initiatives, wrote about his life in a 2019 e-book, “Rising Up Barksdale: A True Baltimore Story.”
Based on the web site Baltimore Beat, he additionally appeared within the 2018 documentary “Attraction Metropolis,” which examined violence in Baltimore after the 2015 killing of Freddie Grey, the 25-year-old Black man who died of a extreme spinal twine damage whereas in police custody.
Nick J. Mosby, the president of the Baltimore Metropolis Council, paid tribute to Mr. Barksdale on Twitter on Sunday.
“Dante Barksdale used his life to save lots of others by stopping gun violence on our streets,” Mr. Mosby stated. “He beat a myriad of odds to do it. Dante was my buddy, and I grieve with numerous others on the homicide of this distinctive man.”
Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs contributed reporting.
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