After Christmas shopping with his family Sunday night, Carl Adkins was waiting at a red light when an armed man approached his vehicle yelling, “Get out of the car.”
Adkins said he panicked and attempted to drive away, but not before he was shot multiple times in the back and his 13-year-old daughter, Makayla, was shot.
“Next thing I know is glass is busting out. Then I felt my back getting wet,” Adkins said in an interview at his Baltimore home Tuesday.
Police said the shooting occurred in the 3300 block of Gwynns Falls Parkway. Adkins said he was attempting to drive toward a hospital when he saw a police officer and flagged him down in the 300 block of N. Hilton St., about 2 miles away.
Police have not released any suspect information. Interim Commissioner Gary Tuggle said Tuesday that the shooting remains under investigation but would not provide any new details.
Adkins said his daughter, his 8-year-old son and his girlfriend had been shopping at Mondawmin Mall for Christmas presents. They had made several purchases, and Adkins said he thought his family might have been followed at the mall and targeted.
He said detectives have not provided much information, but were reviewing surveillance video.
Adkins was released from the Maryland Shock Trauma Center the same night as the shooting, but six bullets remain in his back, which is heavily bandaged. “I’m in so much pain,” Adkins said. “I’ve never been in so much pain in my life.”
He said he’s shocked and angry that someone would open fire on a car with children inside.
“It’s just something you don’t do. They don’t care these days,” Adkins said of the violence. “I hope they catch them, especially because I had my kids with me.”
His daughter has had several surgeries, and he said he doesn’t know when she will be able to return home. Adkins said she has been unconscious, and her mother, who is Adkins’ longtime girlfriend, has remained with their daughter at the hospital. “She’s got a long road,” he said.
His daughter is one of 31 children who have been injured in shootings in the city this year. Others include a 3-year-old boy who was grazed by a bullet while he and his mother waited for a cab outside their home in the 600 block of N. Ellwood Ave. in East Baltimore, and a 5-year-old girl who was shot in the 1000 block of McKean Ave. as she walked to corner store to buy a juice while her great-grandmother watched from a window.
Fourteen youths under 18 have been killed.
Mayor Catherine Pugh lamented the violence this year that has touched “innocent people being killed. Folks are getting caught up in crossfires in terms of gun violence.”
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She discussed the recent violence while announcing a gun buyback program Tuesday, and said the city and the police department are working to lower the number of homicides and other shootings.
Adkins said his daughter, a student at Francis Scott Key Elementary School, is a “good kid.” He said she loves dancing and spending time with her friends.
Principal Corey Basmajian said Makayla helps tutor elementary-aged students at the school.
"This is a good kid," he said.
The staff, including school social workers, have been working to counsel students and answer questions. Students and staff have gone to visit Makayla in the hospital, and Basmajian said he's in close contact with her family.
Adkins, who works in construction, said he would like to move his family out of the city. His daughter and two sons mostly stay inside their home because he said the city is too dangerous.
“If it happened to me, it could happen to anybody. It’s senseless,” he said.