West Baltimore mother mourns son's fatal shooting: 'You never think it's going to cross your threshold'

Preston Green, 26, was killed in a shooting Saturday in the 1800 block of N. Smallwood St. in West Baltimore.

Maryanne Robinson was in her West Baltimore rowhome Saturday evening when she heard gunshots. After police arrived, she went outside to find her son on the ground, being treated by medics.

Robinson said she quickly realized that her son, Preston Green, was dead, but no one would confirm it to her. She said she tried to get close to his body, but was placed in a police car and taken to police headquarters, where a homicide detective later broke the news.


“It still hasn’t registered. I feel like I am dreaming. It don’t feel real. You never think it’s going to cross your threshold,” Robinson, 53, said at her home Tuesday morning.

Green, 26, was shot in the 1800 block of N. Smallwood Street in Coppin Heights. Detectives believe Green was involved in a dispute before he was shot. A suspect was taken into custody at the scene, police said.


Detective Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman, said detectives have made progress but have not yet charged anyone in connection with Green’s death.

Robinson and other family members said Green was saving money to buy a pickup truck to start his own hauling and landscaping business.

They said he also spent a lot of time with his 7-year-old nephew, Amari Green, playing video games or football outside. When Green walked to the corner store or around the neighborhood, the family said, Amari would often be by his side.

“I can’t make him understand that his uncle isn’t coming back,” said Pearlie Bell, Preston Green’s grandmother. “He wanted me to take him to the hospital to see Uncle Preston.”

Robinson said the family has tried to explain to Amari that Green is in heaven.

“Right now, we’re saying the sun and clouds are heaven. When people are gone, they are with Jesus in heaven in the sky, but he don’t believe it,” she said.

Bell said her grandson was well liked, and known as “the fix-it man around here.” When her television broke, she said, her grandson fixed it. When a neighbor’s heat went out earlier this year, she said, Green was able to get it back on.

Bell said she doesn’t understand why anyone would want to harm her grandson, but, she added, no explanation would bring her comfort.


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“I guess I don’t want to know. It just bothers me so bad,” she said. “I can manage because I am a Christian. I know these things are going to happen. I just didn’t know they were going to happen, especially to him.”

Robinson said she had never lost a family member to violence before, but knows many friends and neighbors who have been killed.

“Around here, you have friends, every other day they are gone,” she said.

This week, when Robinson called Amari’s school, Matthew A. Henson Elementary, she said the secretary knew immediately why she was calling, fearing the victim of the shooting in the news might be related to someone at the school. The secretary told Robinson that two other children at the school recently lost family members to violence, she said.

“Something has got to be done about these guns in the city,” Robinson said.

While Amari doesn’t fully understand death, Robinson said he already knows that violence in Baltimore often leads to more violence.


She said Amari asked her if the person who shot his uncle would be shot too.