On a day when teenagers from across Baltimore and the nation were in Washington to demand an end to gun violence, three in Baltimore were left bleeding from bullet wounds.
The first, a 16-year-old boy, was shot in the leg just after midnight on Saturday morning in the 3300 block of W. Baltimore St., in the city’s Saint Joseph’s neighborhood.
The two others, a 15-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man, were shot about 4:44 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of Edmondson Avenue and Allendale Street, just to the north in the city’s Edgewood neighborhood.
Police announced both shootings over the weekend but did not disclose the age of the victims in the double shooting until The Baltimore Sun requested them on Monday. One of the teens had been shot in the chest, and the other in the neck, though police said they didn’t know Monday which teen had been more critically injured.
Police said the 15-year-old boy was talking at the scene, outside the City Mart corner convenience store. The 18-year-old was unresponsive but later was revived and speaking as well. Both were taken to an area hospital, stabilized and expected to survive. The 16-year-old boy from the morning shooting also was expected to survive.
Police don’t identify the victims of non-fatal shootings.
The shootings were both in the Southwest District, the latest in a pocket of West and Southwest Baltimore that has undergone a large number of shootings in recent weeks.
In between the bursts of gunfire in Baltimore on Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people — many of them teens — had traveled to Washington for the youth-organized March For Our Lives rally against gun violence. The rally was organized after 17 students and faculty were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., last month.
Mayor Catherine E. Pugh’s administration helped organize 61 privately funded buses to take Baltimore youths to the rally. On Monday, her office said more than 2,700 students went to Washington on the buses, along with many chaperones. A final, official count was not available yet.
Among the Baltimore attendees were 17 from West Baltimore’s Excel Academy, which has lost seven students to gun violence since last school year.
Pugh said Monday that the teens’ shootings in Baltimore the same day as the rally were a good example of why the voices of Baltimore’s youth were needed in Washington, and why she felt compelled to organize the buses.
“That’s why I wanted our young people’s voices to be heard, because urban America faces these sort of tragedies often,” she said. “There are too many guns on our streets, too many illegal guns on the streets of Baltimore.”
At the march, the Excel students had turned many heads with a sign bearing the images of some of their slain classmates and another that read, “In one school year, we lost 7 of our children to gun violence.”
In addition to the three teens shot Saturday, at least three other teens have been shot in Baltimore this month — two of them in the same general area as the weekend violence.
One 17-year-old boy was shot in the back last Tuesday morning in the 2500 block of Emerson St., in the city’s Shipley Hill neighborhood, just to the east of the Saint Joseph’s neighborhood.
Two 17-year-olds were among 10 people shot the week prior in a burst of gunfire that included two triple shootings. One of the teens was shot on the east side, the other in a triple shooting that also injured a man and a woman in Allendale, just north of Saint Joseph’s.
T.J. Smith, a police spokesman, said two weeks ago that there had been “extra deployments placed on the streets in general” and in the area where all the above shootings occurred, but that unfortunately, “some motivated bad guys were able to get through those deployments.”
He repeated that message Monday, saying the double shooting Saturday was heard by an officer in the area.
“Our officers are in the areas that we’ve seen some of the incidents take place in, and are getting there quickly, but it’s still happening, so it’s a concern for us,” he said. The fact that three teenagers were shot was particularly of concern, he said.
Smith said top commanders were on conference calls over the weekend and in a big meeting Monday afternoon to discuss the violence in the area, and were “adjusting our deployments again.”
He said much of the violence in Baltimore is related to “drugs, gangs and guns,” but no such connections have been determined with the teenagers’ shootings. He said police had few leads in those two incidents in part because “we weren't able to get any information from any of those injured about who could have done it.”
Pugh said her administration is doing everything it can to get teens employed, or into programs where they can be productive intellectually, athletically or artistically, before drug dealers recruit them into the drug trade and thus the path of bullets.
“What we want to do is make sure we are in front of our children before the drug dealers are in front of them,” she said. “We’ve got to wrap our arms around our children. We have to get to them before the drug dealers get to them.”
Police ask anyone with information on the weekend shootings to call detectives at 410-396-2221 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCK-UP.