And in West Baltimore, an Edmondson High School senior was stabbed in his left side on his way to school, according to system officials.

In a statement, the school system said the boy arrived at the building, where school administrators called police and medics about 8:30 a.m. He was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, accompanied by his mother. City police are investigating, officials said, because the incident may have spilled over from a neighborhood spat.

Back near Greenmount Avenue, Pearson's parents struggled to come to grips with his death from the night before. It wasn't lost on them that there would be one less setting at the Thanksgiving table.

"The holidays will never be the same," Brown said. "Ain't nothing to be thankful for."

Daniel had been in trouble, and was on juvenile probation. He was enrolled in an alternative school and trying to do better, they say.

"He went to school every day like he was supposed to," said Johnson, his mother. "He reported to his probation officer like he was supposed to. He was doing good there, at school."

She wondered if things could've been different. She'd been in contact with her son moments before he was killed. She was waiting at a bus stop just a few blocks up the street at the time, and spoke to him on the phone about catching the same bus. Don't get on the 48, she told him. Wait for the second one to come.

He told her he understood, but when the bus pulled up to where he was supposed to be, he didn't get on, Johnson said.

Brown, who is engaged to Johnson and considered Daniel his stepson, was inside a relative's home and heard the gunfire.

"I thought it was an accident," Brown recalled. "And then I happened to see all the [police] lights. I went to see what was going on, and somebody asked me was that my stepson. I was like, 'I don't know, is it?'"

He called Johnson, who was riding the bus. People around the neighborhood were saying Funny had been shot.

Was it true, she asked? He couldn't be sure. But she had to get off the bus, he said. She got off near Old Town Mall, and he picked her up.

They're frustrated that no one may come forward with information. Fewer than half of the city's homicides are solved each year.

"If somebody know something, say something," Brown said. "Don't worry about saying you a snitch. Put yourself in our shoes. It's too many guns on the street. Don't y'all think it's enough killing? Come on. It's time to rise up."

Rawlings-Blake sought to emphasize the human toll of city violence.

"While many of us talk about numbers, we can't forget that behind these numbers, that's somebody's son," she said. "That's somebody's daughter, father or mother, uncle or friend. The young man who was No. 197, his life was no less valuable that No. 9 or No. 7 or No. 97. I don't believe that there's an acceptable level of homicide. In order for us to become a safer city, everyone has to have that belief. We all have to work on it together."

Baltimore Sun reporters Luke Broadwater and Erica L. Green contributed to this article.

jfenton@baltsun.com


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