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In this image taken from video, police investigate the scene of a shooting, Tuesday, July 7, 2015, in Baltimore. Baltimore police say four people have been shot, three fatally, near the University of Maryland, Baltimore, campus.The Associated Press

Gunmen killed three people gathered on a corner near a university Tuesday night, police said.

Two gunmen shot a total of four people — one who was in stable condition — a few blocks from the urban campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, according to police.

Baltimore has seen a spike in violence since the April death of Freddie Gray, a young African-American who died while in police custody after being arrested. The incident sparked unrest across Baltimore and intensified a debate over how police treat minorities.

With the three deaths and a separate fatal stabbing overnight, Baltimore's homicide total so far this year is now 155, according to police. That's a 48 per cent increase compared to the same time last year.

On Tuesday night, the two light-colored vans pulled to the side of the road and one person got out of each van and began firing, campus police said in a statement on the school's website.

Officers responded about 10:30 p.m. to the shooting, in a residential neighbourhood in West Baltimore a few blocks from the campus, Detective Rashawn Strong said in a statement early Wednesday. They found three people with gunshot wounds. One male was pronounced dead at the scene, and another male and a female were taken to a hospital, where they died. The fourth victim sought treatment at a hospital for a gunshot wound to the buttocks.

It was the second shooting in the block in a week, according to campus police.