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Gun confiscated from student at Baltimore high school, 16-year-old charged with attempted murder

Police say a 16-year-old who was arrested with a loaded gun at Patterson High School Monday is charged with attempted murder in relation to a shooting on Feb. 17 that left one woman injured in Northeast Baltimore’s Frankford neighborhood.

Malik Bell, 16, of Baltimore, was arrested by Baltimore City School Police and is charged with attempted murder related to a shooting in the 5000 block of Truesdale Ave. on Feb. 17, Baltimore police wrote in a news release Tuesday.

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Malik Bell was arrested by Baltimore City School Police on February 24, 2020, at Patterson High School, while in possession of a loaded handgun, according to Baltimore Police.
Malik Bell was arrested by Baltimore City School Police on February 24, 2020, at Patterson High School, while in possession of a loaded handgun, according to Baltimore Police. (Baltimore Police Department)

Officers investigating reports of a shooting in the neighborhood on Feb. 17 at 1:21 p.m. found a woman who’d been shot multiple times in the upper and lower body, police wrote. She was taken to the hospital to be treated for her injuries.

Online court records had not been updated Tuesday morning to reflect the charges filed against Bell, so it is unclear if he has retained an attorney.

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Originally, the president of the city’s school police union said Monday that a loaded handgun was confiscated from a student at the school Monday, but did not have details as to what charges the student may face.

Tipped off by detectives, two unarmed school police officers arrested the minor after a confrontation in a hallway at the high school, said Sgt. Clyde Boatwright, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Baltimore School Police Lodge 5.

Boatwright declined to release the student’s name or age, or say whether he is enrolled at Patterson, but did confirm he was a Baltimore City Public Schools student. Baltimore police did not say whether Bell is a student at Patterson.

The juvenile was arrested for possession of a loaded handgun on school grounds, he said. Boatwright wrote in a Facebook post the boy was wanted for “at least one attempted murder (nonfatal shooting).”

A Baltimore City Public Schools spokeswoman confirmed “a weapon was recovered” from a Patterson student who was arrested “for a criminal violation.”

“Providing safe, secure, and positive climates for teaching and learning in City Schools’ is a top priority," spokeswoman Gwendolyn Chambers said in an emailed statement. “We want to thank City Schools Police for quickly bringing the situation under control and assuring the safety of staff and students.”

“Under City Schools’ student Code of Conduct," Chambers added, “a student who brings a weapon on school grounds faces the maximum consequences, including possible permanent expulsion.”

The district did not identify the student or provide any further details about the incident.

Boatwright argued that his officers were at a disadvantage when responding without guns to a report of a gun on school grounds. The union pushed last year to allow school police to carry guns, but the bill was killed by the city delegation.

Boatwright expressed relief no one was injured.

“This underscores the need for our police officers to have all tools available at all times,” the union president said. “This could have gotten real bad for anybody that was in the building, based on the fact that this person is alleged to have used [the gun] before.”

Boatwright posted a photo of the handgun on Facebook.

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It’s the 28th gun found at a city school since 2016, according to Boatwright.

It’s at least the second time a student has been arrested with a weapon at Patterson in the past two years. A 16-year-old student was charged as an adult last year in the stabbing of another male student after a classroom argument.

Baltimore Sun reporter Phil Davis contributed to this article.

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