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10-year-old girl and two men shot and wounded Saturday during West Baltimore gun battle

Police Commissioner Harrison provides an update for members of the media on Saturday's shooting in West Baltimore.

A 10-year-old girl and two men were shot and wounded Saturday afternoon when a gunfight erupted between two groups in the streets of West Baltimore.

The girl and men were hospitalized in stable condition and expected to survive, police said. City officials condemned the brazen, daytime shooting near the busy intersection of Reisterstown Road and North Fulton Avenue.

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“I don’t care what your silly, stupid little beef is. That 10-year-old baby had nothing to do with your beef,” Mayor Brandon Scott said, visibly frustrated.

The two groups of men opened fire on each other shortly before 3:30 p.m. in the Parkview-Woodbrook neighborhood, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said. It was not immediately known what caused them to start shooting, but Harrison called it a “cowardly” way to settle their differences.

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A police sergeant who happened to be nearby jumped out of his squad car and began to help one of the victims. Two men, ages 45 and 23, were wounded; the girl was found shot a few blocks away on Avalon Avenue.

Police have not announced any arrests. Scott urged anyone with information to help police catch the shooters.

“If your homeboy would go and shoot a 10-year-old baby, you need to recheck your friends,” he said. “Real men don’t do that.”

The attack was the second shooting Baltimore police investigated Saturday. Around 2 a.m., officers went to a city hospital after a 32-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds was dropped off at the emergency room. Officers learned he had been wounded in the 1800 block of Maryland Avenue, according to a police department news release.

On Saturday night, officers were called shortly before 10 p.m. to the 1600 block of Normal Avenue in the Darley Park neighborhood. They found a 42-year-old man shot and wounded.

In Baltimore, it’s not unprecedented for children to become victims of street violence.

Last March, 13-year-old Rickie Forehand was killed and five other people — including four children — were wounded in the parking lot of the Rosedale Shopping Center in the 6200 block of Kenwood Avenue in Baltimore County just east of the city. Rodrick ONeil Bell, 20, and Jeremiah Corneal Bell, 16, were later charged in the shooting. Bell was charged as an adult.

In July 2018, 7-year-old Taylor Hayes was fatally shot during a gunbattle in the streets of West Baltimore. Her killer got 75 years in prison.

In 2014, 3-year-old McKenzie Elliott was shot and killed while playing on her porch by a North Baltimore gang member who opened fire on his rivals. The gunman pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy in exchange for 25 years in federal prison.

When the gunfire started on Fulton Avenue Saturday, Lee Chong rushed from behind the counter and shut the door to Bunny’s Liquors. He and a customer took shelter behind the bullet-proof glass of the windows. He said someone was shot up the street just last month.

“You worry about it every day,” he said.

A few doors down, the women working the registers at the Liberty carryout ducked behind the counter at the sound of shots. One woman peeked out later to see police bent over a victim. Her cellphone photo captured a man lying on his back on the sidewalk.

Yellow police tape cordoning off the crime scene spread over two city blocks. Neighbors stood at the edge of the tape and watched police look for evidence. Chuck Thompson was shaking his head, saying how it’s too often that young men of this city reach for guns to settle their arguments.

“You trying to understand where their minds are. There’s kids out here ... that could have been any one of our mothers,” he said. “These young men, they’re hurting themselves. The situation has to change.”

Police are asking anyone with information to call 410-396-2477 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 866-7LOCKUP.

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