Drive-by gunfire wounds young girl a second time


A 13-year-old girl who was shot six weeks ago was struck again by gunfire last night -- this time in a drive-by shooting in which a man in a white Cadillac peppered a West Baltimore street corner with bullets, police said.

The girl, Brandy Bell, a resident of the Lexington Terrace public housing development in the 700 block of W. Lexington St., was standing with friends at the corner of Fremont Avenue and Lexington near the high-rise when the gunfire erupted about 8:15 p.m., police said.

Brandy was reported in good condition at University of Maryland Medical Center last night with a bullet wound to her right leg.

"They just rolled down the windows and started shooting, not even caring about the children," said Brandy's great-aunt, Barbara McKinney, also a resident of Lexington Terrace. "This is the second time this child has been hit."

Brandy was shot Sept. 11 in the same neighborhood, Ms. McKinney said, receiving a graze wound to one of her legs.

"She was trying to run away [last night]. You have to lay down when you hear those gunshots," Ms. McKinney said. "You've got to just drop down and hope the shots go over your head."

Police said they had no suspects in last night's shooting. Witnesses reported that the gunman in the Cadillac appeared to be shooting at two men who were running into a nearby building.

The shots sent at least a half-dozen people, mostly children, diving and running for cover. The car, which had tinted windows, sped off, and it is unclear how many people were inside, police said.

Karen Parker, Brandy's aunt, said she didn't know if Brandy's wound may cause any long-term problems. Brandy was still at the hospital late last night with her mother, she said.

"This shooting really scared her," Ms. Parker said of the child. "She seemed really upset this time."

Ms. McKinney, who described herself as a community activist who has lobbied City Hall to get recreation centers for neighborhood children, said she expects to be calling city officials today. "They've got to do something for these kids," Ms. McKinney said. "It's so dangerous out here. Give me a 7 p.m. curfew."

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