Man acquitted of deadly East Baltimore firebombing this summer fatally shot, attorney says

Antonio Wright, the 27-year-old man acquitted this summer of a firebombing that killed two teens and injured six others in 2017, was fatally shot in East Baltimore on Friday morning, his attorney confirmed.

“Another casualty in the war on each other, I guess,” said Warren Brown, the attorney.

Baltimore police said a man was found unresponsive and suffering from gunshot wounds just after 11 a.m. in the 1200 block of Bond St., in the Oliver neighborhood of East Baltimore. He was later pronounced dead at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Brown said that man was Wright. He said he had spoken to Wright’s mother on Friday afternoon. Wright’s family could not immediately be reached.

Prosecutors had accused Wright of tossing two Molotov cocktails into a home on Greenmount Avenue in March 2017, killing Shi-heem Sholto, 19, and Tyrone James, 17, and injuring six others, including a 4-year-old girl. Wright always denied involvement in the crime, and he was acquitted of two counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder for the firebombing in June.

Prosecutors also had accused Wright of firing at a group of five adults and two children — injuring a 20-year-old — as the group entered the same Greenmount Avenue home two days prior to the firebombing. He was found not guilty of three counts of attempted first-degree murder in the shooting after a three-day trial in July.

After being accused publicly of the crime by police and dubbed “Public Enemy No. 1” in the city, Wright surrendered to authorities while live-streaming on Facebook, vehemently denying any involvement in the high-profile arson attack.

"I did not commit this crime," Wright said at the time. "I won't allow them to bring me in like an animal to portray what y'all saying on TV. ... Y'all judged me before y'all even knew anything. Y'all convicted me off assumption. And I didn't do it."

Witnesses during his trial recalled seeing him in the area the night of the firebombing. A woman injured in the blaze testified that she and her sister had heard Wright call across the street to them that “somebody going to get it tonight.”

Wright’s wife had testified that he was at their house on the night of the incident.

Wright lived not far from where the firebombing occurred, and even closer to where he was found shot Friday.

Brown said he and others had urged Wright to move away from the area after his acquittal. Some of Wright’s friends had been fatally shot in the area. But recently, Brown said he spoke to one of Wright’s friends, who told him Wright still frequented the neighborhood.

“He had a lot of potential. He really did. But he couldn’t remove himself from the hood. And that’s not unusual,” Brown said. “That’s the life he chose.”

After Wright’s acquittal in the firebombing, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby issued a statement saying prosecutors still believed they had charged the right person.

Anyone with information in his shooting is asked to call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCK-UP, or text a tip to police at 443-902-4824.

Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton contributed to this article.

krector@baltsun.com

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