Baltimore police have charged a 33-year-old man with the shooting of a toddler early Saturday morning in what Police Commissioner Michael Harrison called “an act of road rage."
Javon Johnson is charged with attempted murder, assault and various handgun related charges, according to police. He is being held at Baltimore’s central booking facility. State court records did not reflect the arrest Monday.
Police allege Johnson shot a 2-year-old boy in the stomach after being honked at and passed at a street light in West Baltimore. The boy is expected to survive and is undergoing treatment at an area hospital.
The boy’s family could not be reached for comment Monday.
The city’s ShotSpotter system, which captures the sound of gunfire, brought officers to the 600 block of W. Franklin St., in the Seton Hill neighborhood, at about 12:34 a.m. Saturday, though they found no victims there. Police were later called to the hospital where the boy was being treated.
Harrison said police believe the driver of the vehicle the boy was riding in had been stopped behind other vehicles at a red light. When the light turned green and the cars didn’t move, the driver “blew the horn several times,” and then drove around the other cars at the light.
Police believe that at that point, the driver of the first car at the light "followed and caught up to the victim’s vehicle, and then fired from his vehicle into the victim’s vehicle, striking the child,” Harrison said.
No one answered at the front door of the home listed for Johnson in the 900 block of N. Franklintown Road on Monday morning. Officers with vests identifying themselves as police were later seen entering the home.
Johnson’s family also did not respond to a request for comment.
Online court records show Johnson recently had a peace order filed against him, and in 2018 he was charged with second-degree child abuse, second-degree assault and possession of a deadly weapon with intent to injure. The charges in the 2018 case were placed on the stet, or inactive, docket. That allows the state to bring the charges within one year. In 2014, Johnson was charged with first and second-degree assault, but the charges were dropped. He was later charged with violating his probation and sentenced to three years in prison.
Additional details of the cases were unavailable because the courthouses were closed Monday for the federal holiday.
The toddler was one of 15 people shot in Baltimore on Saturday, marking one of the most violent days in the city since 2012.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which investigates serious gun crimes in the city, offered a $15,000 cash reward for information about the case.
Baltimore Sun reporters Kevin Rector and Jessica Anderson contributed to this article.