Baltimore Police are offering a reward in return for information in last week's killing of a talented, 17-year-old, soon-to-be Edmondson-Westside High School graduate who was trying to improve the community for his peers while eyeing a career in the military.
Michael Mayfield was found dead with a gunshot wound to his head around 6 p.m. Wednesday in a minivan in the 2300 block of Lyndhurst Ave. He was taken to a hospital and died soon after, becoming the sixth teen to be shot dead in the city this year.
Baltimore police said they were seeking a lone gunman, who was described only as a black man in his teens or early 20s, wearing a dark blue hooded sweat shirt, jeans and tennis shoes. Anyone with information may call the city homicide unit at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-756-2587. A tip leading to an arrest and indictment in the case is eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.
No motive has been identified in the killing, and Mayfield's friends said they didn't know why someone would target him.
They described him as a leader who was involved in a slew of extracurricular activities, including Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. He also played baseball and baritone horn and was a youth ambassador and peer mediator.
A memorial was held for Mayfield Saturday at James Mosher Elementary School, where the teen played baseball. Marvin L. "Doc" Cheatham Sr. of the James Mosher Association and longtime NAACP president, called him "a shining star" of the youth league.
He had been accepted into Chowan University, a Baptist school in Murfreesboro, N.C., where he had applied for a leadership scholarship.
He pitched for Edmondson-Westside's baseball team, and City College coach and English teacher Mark Miazga fondly remembered him as one of the city's best ballplayers. Will Conrad, a former City College pitcher, said he throught Mayfield could have played baseball in college.
The JROTC leader was mulling a military career after high school graduation, according to Adrian Hughes, a close friend in his class.
Mayfield was also active in the Inner Harbor Project, an after-school program to offer ideas to make the Inner Harbor safe and inclusive for teens, where he preached harmony among groups of youth in the city while acknowledging "it will be a difficult task to accomplish," according to a copy of a speech he gave last spring.
In the speech, Mayfield pointed to neighborhood rivalries as the cause of conflicts at the harbor. He said peer mediation and social media monitoring could help better address the problems and prevent them from happening.
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