A Baltimore boy who was apparently playing with a gun shot and killed a 15-year-old friend Saturday morning in Cherry Hill, Baltimore police said.

Police could not say Saturday how many times the boy was shot or who owned the gun. The gun was secured in the house, but the children had found a key or passcode to unlock it, said police spokesman Kevin Brown. The shooter, who was either 11 or 12 years old, was not being charged at this time because the killing appeared to be an accident, he said.

"We want this to serve as a reminder of the extreme importance of securing weapons in the home," Brown said.

He offered no details about whether any other charges would be filed.

Police were also trying to determine the relationship between the homeowner and the boy, the number of children in the house, and where in the house the shooting occurred. Neither the victim nor the shooter was identified, though police said the boys were together with several other children after a sleepover. The shooting occurred around 11:30 a.m.

Residents of the 2400 block of Seamon Ave. broke down in tears Saturday afternoon when they learned that the boy had died.

Shana Harris, 28, lives across the street from the home where the shooting happened. She heard the victim's younger brother yelling just after the incident and recalled that he came out of the house crying and saying, "Help me please, help me please, somebody's shot my brother."

Harris, who only moved to the neighborhood recently, said she feels bad for both families. She recalled an ambulance arriving to collect the young victim. Police said he was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma where he was declared dead. Police said he was shot at least once in the head.

Harris also had empathy for the shooter's family, many of whom gathered near the home but declined to speak with reporters. "It is not his fault that a gun was in his reach," Harris said.

Elsewhere in the city detectives were investigating four apparently unrelated overnight shootings, according to a spokesman. All of the victims are male, and none of their injuries were fatal, police said.

The first occurred around 10 p.m. Friday in Cherry Hill at the 2900 block of Carver Road, police said. Officers responded to call and found a 35 year-old male victim who had been shot in the back. He told police that he was walking and "heard a small pop," according to police.

At about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, police were called to Harlem Avenue in West Baltimore for a report of gunfire. They found a 53-year-old man sitting on his steps at the 2800 block of Edmonson Ave., having been shot in the knee nearby.

About a half an hour later, police received a call from a hospital in East Baltimore for a man who'd been shot in the leg, police said. Police did not identify the hospital. No other details were immediately available.

A fourth shooting occurred shortly before 3 p.m. in the 4200 block of Park Heights Avenue, according to a police statement. Police reported that a 32-year-old adult man was shot several times in the back and neck as he stood in a carryout restaurant. The victim was taken to an nearby hospital and was in critical condition Saturday night, police said.

Baltimore Sun reporter Steve Kilar contributed to this article.

annie.linskey@baltsun.com

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts