Morning Brings Wail of Fire Engines in Wake of Baltimore Riots –

by NewsStand

BALTIMORE — Hundreds of rifle-toting National Guard members began deploying here on Tuesday morning, lining one of the city’s main thoroughfares and taking up posts around a police station in western Baltimore that had been the scene of earlier protests.

The guardsmen were expected to be joined over the course of the day by thousands of police officers from outside the city as Baltimore struggles to recover from rioting, arson and looting that left 15 police officers injured — six seriously — and damaged or destroyed dozens of businesses, homes and cars. It is not known how many rioters have been injured.

Gov. Larry Hogan, who visited injured officers and damaged neighborhoods, said that while the city was under control, officials were concerned about what tonight might bring. “It’s not going to happen again,” Mr. Hogan said of the violence.

While the rioters largely dispersed during the night, fire engines raced across this city early Tuesday as the Fire Department strained to extinguish blazes. Some firefighters were reported to have had cinder blocks heaved at them as they responded to emergencies. As a result, police officers were deployed overnight alongside weary and harried firefighters to ensure their work was not disrupted by people with “no regard for life,” the Police Department said.

As dawn broke, the city was relatively calm. Overnight, the police said, two people were shot, each in the leg, in separate incidents. One victim, a woman, was shot on Fulton Avenue near where some of the worst rioting and looting had occurred hours earlier. The other victim, a man, was shot about two miles west of the Mondawmin Mall, where the rioting began.

At the mall early Tuesday, a few police cars sat in the parking lot, but the rioters seemed long gone. Governor Hogan walked through the mall, which is closed, to see the damage. The police said that a flier circulated on social media had called for a period of violence on Monday afternoon to begin at the mall and to move downtown toward City Hall.

Near the debris-strewn corner of Pennsylvania and North Avenues, scene of some of the worst rioting on Monday, including the burning of a police car and the looting of a CVS drugstore, state police troopers in riot gear were lined up in a human barrier across two intersections as the sky began to lighten. No rioters were visible. Some people had begun to clean up, with a pickup truck full of scrap metal parked near one line of police officers.

But fire engine sirens could still be heard and acrid smoke wafted from some of the areas hardest hit by arsonists who have left the Baltimore Fire Department stretched to its limits. One early-morning fire struck a large pawnshop in a commercial strip on the west side of the city, and several fire companies were called to put out the blaze.

Members of the National Guard began to arrive on the streets just after dawn, wearing tan and earth-green military fatigues and driving sandy-color humvees. They took up posts around the city’s Western District police station, while more than a hundred other guardsmen lined the street in front of Baltimore’s inner harbor.

State and city officials said they hoped that measures scheduled to be put into effect on Tuesday— including the National Guard deployment and a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.— would reduce the chances of a repeat of Monday’s unrest, where the police acknowledged that, at least early on, they had been outflanked and outnumbered.

By the early hours of Tuesday, it was clear that in addition to the many rioters fueled by fury over the death of Freddie Gray — who died of a spinal cord injury sustained while in police custody — there were many other residents who, while also upset by Mr. Gray’s death, were troubled by Monday’s violence.