In 2020, Tricia Brown-Church had been considering options for her teenage son’s high school career.
The 14-year-old “popular kid” who had just finished eighth grade at Wiley H. Bates Middle School excelled at football, Brown-Church said, and his mother was considering sending him to either Archbishop Spalding High School or Annapolis High School.
Camarin “Peeboo” Wallace was playing with his friends near an Annapolis Gardens playground on July 27, 2020, when he was chased and shot in the back. Brown-Church said she heard the faint shots from a distance. Wallace died in the hospital, becoming the youngest homicide victim in city history.
Two years later, no suspects have been charged in connection with Wallace’s death. Like others killed by gun violence in the city, police say they have a suspect in mind, but no credible witnesses are willing to identify a suspect in court.
Brown-Church held a second memorial ceremony in Wallace’s honor Saturday afternoon at the Woodside Gardens apartments. In addition to fellow parents who have lost their children to gun violence, many of those who attended were community members and youth who knew either Wallace or his siblings. Others didn’t know the family but had been touched by his story.
Wallace’s mother described him as “a good kid” with an “infectious smile” who liked to shovel his neighbors’ driveways and lend clothes to his friends, she said. He had recently started making music with his friends and had “become a comedian all of a sudden,” posting videos online with acquaintances.
Wallace’s mother was pleased with the turnout during the weekend event. Those who attended got snow cones, T-shirts and bracelets.
“His name is being kept alive,” Brown-Church said, adding that it’s a struggle to put on the event for a second year without anyone being held accountable for the shooting.
Annapolis police also came out to the event on Saturday. Capt. Amy Miguez said detectives hope maintaining a presence will encourage people to come forward with information.
The case hasn’t gone cold yet, Miguez said.
“We definitely think there’s someone out there with information,” she said.
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Brown-Church still holds out hope that she’ll see justice for her son. But she doesn’t think she’ll see a witness come forward in a town of closely linked neighborhood disputes. There’s too much risk once witnesses’ names go public, she said.
“It puts people in a bad situation,” she said.
Justice doesn’t necessarily mean a lengthy sentence, either, she said. Rather, she just wants to see somebody brought before a judge and held accountable.
“I don’t care if it’s 14 years, for each year of [Camarin’s] life,” she said. “I just want [someone] held accountable for what he’s done.”
Annapolis police are still seeking evidence in two other homicide cases from 2020.
In May of that year, Collin Michael Flannigan, 23, was shot in the head in Eastport and later died of his injuries. In October, Shawn McGowan, 28, was shot and killed at a party. Three others were also injured in the shooting, including two 17-year-old girls. No arrests have been made in either case.
Police have arrested suspects in connection with the city’s three other homicides that year, as well as all five homicides in 2021. Police are still seeking suspects in the shooting death of 21-year-old Shakeo Williams in January of this year.