Baltimore Police are continuing to investigate the death of a 13-year-old girl who was shot outside a city recreation center Thursday and are offering a $8,000 reward for information.
Police said Maliyah Turner, an 8th grade student at Sandtown-Winchester Achievement Academy, was shot in the 1300 block of N. Stricker St. around 7 p.m.
“She’s just gone too soon,” her grandfather Richard Williams said Friday. “She’s been cheated out of her life.”
He mourned his granddaughter and the life she did not get to live. “I will never get to see her get married,” he said.
Maliyah’s death comes at the end of a particularly horrific week in a city that has experienced more than 300 homicides in each of the past seven years. The girl’s death comes just as the city again surpasses 300, and she is just one of 16 victims killed this year under the age of 18.
Witnesses in the area of Maliyah’s shooting said they heard two shots, and said she was outside the Stricker Street entrance of the Lillian S. Jones Recreation Center, where she frequently visited after school.
The rec center was mostly quiet Friday morning. A woman at the center’s front desk declined to comment.
Across the street, a large grassy field where children play football games after dark, was empty. A remnant of yellow police tape still flapping in the wind was the only hint of the shooting that broke out the night before. All along the street, police had tucked reward posters with Maliyah’s picture under car windshield wipers and in row home storm doors.
Louis Wilson, pastor at New Song Community Church on N. Calhoun Street, said he heard the shots while sitting at his home just up the street from the rec center. He walked down to find the girl outside the rec center entrance where a police officer was doing CPR. He said he saw people running from the area.
“Everybody ran, no one wants to be a witness,” he said. “One lady was just crying. I asked if she was related. She said ‘No, my kids play here,’” he said.
Wilson said there are typically football games at the field that last well into the evening. He didn’t know of any specific event at the rec center Thursday.
Jacqueline Brown, who lives in the area, also said she heard two shots. She said she was cooking and left her backdoor open and heard several boys— about the same age at Maliyah —taking off on scooters.
“I heard them fussing at each other,” she said. “I know they are kids, 13 or 14-years-old,” she said. Brown said she heard them talking about “getting away.”
Brown said after the shooting she holed up in her house. She said she told detectives who were out canvassing the neighborhood Friday morning about what she saw.
“It’s getting terrible,” she said of the violence. “It’s not safe here anymore.”
Police have not released any suspect information or possible motive, including whether the girl was an innocent bystander or targeted.
Williams and Turner’s aunt, Melinda Hood, stopped at the recreation center Friday in search of answers, but said police have not disclosed much information to the family.
Hood said her niece grew up in the Gilmor Homes development, and said she loved being on social media, and liked watching TikTok videos. She said the girl also loved dancing and was close with Hood’s 22-year-old daughter.
“She not doing good,” Hood said of her daughter after learning of Turner’s death.
Wilson, the pastor who lives near where the shooting occurred, said he’s concerned the violence and trauma will continue to harm the community.
“What about the 10-year-old who sees that? Who talks to that child?” he said. He said he believes the city needs more people who care and invest in youth, and not just programs.
“Suppose everyone said ‘I am going to invest in one person, everybody deciding to touch one person,” Wilson said. “Just do something for one person.”
Anyone with information is asked to call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.