'It was just chaos'
4 shot after game in Randallstown; 2 seriously injured as gunfire erupts in high school parking lot
Chris Moore, a Baltimore County police crime lab technician, marks the locations of bullet casings in the parking lot of Randallstown High School after the shootings. About 100 people were there for a fund-raiser basketball game. (Sun photo by Christopher T. Assaf / May 7, 2004)
One suspect was in custody, and at least three others were being sought last night, police said.
"There were bullets flying everywhere," said Latea Bell, 15, a freshman at the school who witnessed the shooting.
Carlos Bailey, 18, a senior, said, "I was ducking and getting out of the way. Everybody was just running back into the building. It was just chaos. People using their cell phones and screaming."
The victims were identified by friends and relatives as Marcus McLain, a junior star quarterback on the school's football team; William Thomas, a senior football player; Alexander Brown, 17, a basketball player; and Andre Mellerson, an upperclassman.
Three were flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center by helicopter, and McLain was taken to Sinai Hospital.
Thomas was shot several times, at least once in the neck, and was apparently the most seriously injured. He was listed in critical condition last night.
"It seems like a nightmare for me. I pray for my children every day to be home and to be happy," said his aunt, Ann R. Godwin of Pikesville, while in the hospital waiting area.
Mellerson was listed in serious condition, and Brown was treated and released from Shock Trauma.
A condition for McLain, who was being treated for a gunshot wound to an ankle, was not released.
"We're absolutely praying for the victims. These are fine students, good kids," said County Executive James T. Smith Jr., who arrived at the school as police were still interviewing witnesses. "Everything is being done to apprehend those who were responsible for these heinous acts."
Witnesses said about 100 students were in the parking lot of the Baltimore County school after the game, a charity fund-raiser organized by Del. Robert A. Zirkin of Owings Mills.
A fistfight erupted about 4:30 p.m., and witnesses reported hearing two bursts of gunfire. School had been dismissed at 2:05 p.m.
Michael Thompson, a crisis intervention specialist at the school, heard gunshots and ran outside to find a faculty member praying over one of the victims who was lying on the ground.
Thompson sat another victim on the hood of a car and told him to "just hold on, it'll be all right."
Mellerson stumbled into the school, where Principal Thomas Evans found him bleeding from gunshot wounds to both shoulders. Evans said he tore the youth's shirt off and comforted him until paramedics arrived.
McLain limped into the school through another door and, initially, some faculty members worried that the shooters were inside the building.
The Randallstown varsity baseball team was playing a home game on their field, about 300 yards from the parking lot.
"We told all the kids to get down on the field," said Mike Gelman, the school's athletic director, who called 911.