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13-year-old girl latest child victim injured by gun violence in Baltimore

Baltimore Police said they continue to investigate a Sunday evening shooting that injured a 13-year-old girl and an adult relative.

Police said the girl and the 38-year-old man were sitting in a car at a traffic light in the 3300 block of Gwynns Falls Parkway when they were shot by an unknown person. The victims fled to the 300 block of North Hilton Street, about two miles away, where they were found by officers.

Police spokesman Detective Jeremy Silbert said Monday that detectives have not made any arrests and did not have information on a motive for the shooting.

“We’re reaching out to the community, we’re hoping that someone comes forward,” Silbert said.

He said both the girl and the man were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The girl is the latest child in the city to be injured by gun violence.

“Thirty-one nonfatal shootings involving young people are the most disheartening yet most important numbers as far as violence. Every life and every victim matters but the lives of our young people are most precious,” said Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott, who chairs the council’s public safety committee.

Scott said the council has routinely pressed the Police Department about its efforts to curb youth violence, and noted that the council last year called for a Youth Violence Reduction Strategy. Scott said the recent launch of the anti-violence Roca program, which targets youths at risk for violence and finds them educational opportunities and other services is “a great start,” but added “much more is needed,” including addressing the number of guns being trafficked into the city.

On Dec. 2, 17-year-old Anthony Grant was fatally shot in the 2200 block of Christian St. in Southwest Baltimore. Officials with Roca said they were aware of Grant but had not yet assessed him for eligibility in the program.

The same weekend Grant was killed, two other teens, both 18, were killed in a shooting in the 2400 block of Brentwood Ave. in the Barclay neighborhood in East Baltimore.

Among the city’s 293 homicides this year are 14 victims under the age of 18. Four of those victims were babies who police have said died at the hands of family or caregivers, while the majority of the victims are 16- and 17-year-old boys. A 13-year-old, Montrell Mouzon, was fatally shot on Halloween, after he had been giving out candy with his father. Police said they were investigating whether drug dealing played a role in his death.

Several recent victims, like the 13-year-old girl, appear to be completely unintended targets.

Less than two weeks ago, police said a 3-year-old boy 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. Another victim, a 38-year-old man, was shot in the leg.

Five-year-old Amy Hayes was wounded by gunfire in the 1000 block of McKean Avenue as she walked to corner store to buy a juice, while her great-grandmother watched from a window. Police said Amy was caught in the crossfire between people in an unidentified vehicle and on foot.

Amy Hayes is the younger sister of Taylor Hayes, a 7-year-old girl who was fatally shot in July while riding in the back seat of a car in Southwest Baltimore. Keon Gray, 29, has been charged with murder in Taylor Hayes’ death and is awaiting trial.

Interim Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said Amy Hayes’ shooting is emblematic of the city’s gun culture, which does not spare children.

“It just goes to show you that some individuals don’t care who gets hurt,” Tuggle said last month. “It’s got to stop.”

On Monday afternoon, the block where the 13-year-old girl had been injured no longer had any evidence of a crime, but a purple rubber glove, possibly left by an officer, was left by the street.

Karen Maddox said she heard more than three shots outside her home but didn’t open her door to look outside.

“I heard the gunshots, but I hear them so much I didn’t even pay attention to it because it just happens so much,” she said.

But Maddox said she later received a call from a family member asking about the shooting on her block and that she heard a 13-year-old had been injured.

“Whenever I hear it’s a young teenager or someone young, it upsets me,” she said.

Maddox said she wishes the city would “do a clean sweep” of the neighborhood. She has lived there 18 years, and said it’s so convenient because of the nearby bus lines and the proximity to Mondawmin Mall, but the violence is out of control.

“You hear gunshots so often you become hardened to it. You become immune to it,” she said. “It’s like a war zone.”

jkanderson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/janders5

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