On a sweltering Tuesday in August, a 12-year-old girl was shot in the leg while walking to a corner store in East Baltimore.
A neighbor said she knew the child, but not her name.
“I call her ‘Lil Mama,’ because she’s sweet and she looks just like her mother and her grandmother,” said Nadine Govan, 58, who lives next door to the child’s grandmother on Curley Street, the block where police said the shooting happened.
It’s the latest incident in which a child was shot this summer. In July, 7-year-old Taylor Hayes died weeks after being shot while riding in the back seat of a car.
“It’s just a shame,” Govan said, starting to cry. “You can’t even go to the store in peace.”
Police said the 12-year-old’s injuries are not considered life-threatening. “She’s doing OK,” said Govan, who had spoken with the child’s grandmother earlier.
A 911 call was received from the nearby home of one of the girl’s relatives about 12:45 p.m., and the girl was transported to an area hospital with injuries, said Detective Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman.
The girl told detectives that she was walking down the street when she heard gunfire and realized she’d been shot in the leg, Monroe said. Detectives determined the shooting occurred in the 400 block of N. Curley St., in the city’s Ellwood Park neighborhood, just northwest of where Orleans Street meets Pulaski Highway.
Monroe said she did not immediately have any additional information.
Govan said she was in the kitchen when she heard the gunshots. “Scared me half to death,” she said.
The neighborhood is so crime-ridden that Govan said her own family members are afraid to come visit her in the home she’s owned for 30 years. She keeps Ajax powder on her marble steps to deter drug dealers from sitting on them.
“They don’t like me and I don’t like them,” she said.
On the other side of the block, 25-year-old Ky-Ren Bell stood near his own grandmother’s house. A sign in her window has a picture of children with the words: “Don’t shoot. I want to grow up.”
Bell said his grandmother sleeps in the room facing the alley; she’s afraid a bullet will hit her in her sleep.
“As soon as I can, I’m getting her out of here,” Bell said.