La­trobe Homes on edge after shoot­ings

Man fired ran­domly into crowd; chil­dren wounded

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - By Car­rie Wells cwells@balt­sun.com

Days after two young chil­dren were wounded in the cross­fire of a shootout at the La­trobe Homes pub­lic hous­ing com­plex, Priscilla Wheeler said her mind was on her 3-year-old grand­daugh­ter, Kar-lee.

“Night­time, we be in the house,” said Wheeler, 55. “We don’t be out here. You just never know when they’re go­ing to start shoot­ing.”

On Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, 50 po­lice re­cruits fanned out around La­trobe Homes in East Bal­ti­more, pass­ing out fliers ask­ing for res­i­dents to call or text them tips in the Satur­day night shoot­ing that wounded a 4-year-old, a 6-year-old and a 61-year-old woman in a wheel­chair. Po­lice also re­leased a sur­veil­lance video Wed­nes­day of what they say was a dice game player who left, then re­turned with a gun and be­gan fir­ing into a crowd of peo­ple.

Bal­ti­more po­lice spokesman T.J. Smith said the vic­tims were not the in­tended tar­gets. The male sus­pect has not been caught, and po­lice urged any­one with in­for­ma­tion to con­tact Metro Crime Stop­pers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

The La­trobe Homes shoot­ing was part of a vi­o­lent La­bor Day week­end in which 22 peo­ple were shot between Fri­day af­ter­noon and Mon­day night. Four of them were killed. An­other triple shoot­ing Mon­day on Mon­u­ment Street left one man dead and wounded two women, one of whom was preg­nant.

In that case, po­lice an­nounced Wed­nes­day they had ar­rested To­ni­asha Manique Po­lice of­fi­cer trainees Ju­nior Elmera and Christo­pher Scott knock on doors at La­trobe Homes as they pass out fliers in the neigh­bor­hood. John­son, 23, and charged her with first­de­gree mur­der and other charges. Court records were un­avail­able on Wed­nes­day, and it could not be de­ter­mined if she had an at­tor­ney.

Po­lice said John­son con­spired to com­mit the crime and handed the gun to Marion “Nephew” Daughton, who pre­vi­ously had been charged with first-de­gree mur­der in the case. Po­lice al­leged Daughton was the “trig­ger puller” but said John­son bore the same re­spon­si­bil­ity for the crime. Smith said both were mem­bers of the Bloods gang.

At La­trobe Homes, res­i­dents said they were shaken by the shoot­ing and some said they typ­i­cally feel rel­a­tively safe.

Mal­colm John­son, 41, said the pub­lic hous­ing res­i­dents are mostly older peo­ple and chil­dren who are of­ten run­ning around out­side, as the two chil­dren were when they were in­jured on Satur­day night.

“This is some­thing new,” he said. “It’s wild, though. Two lit­tle kids and some­body’s grand­mother.” The fliers handed out in the can­vass seek in­for­ma­tion on the shoot­ings Satur­day of two chil­dren and a woman.

Al­ston Gunter, an­other La­trobe Homes res­i­dent, said he was “very much con­cerned” and added that the area felt more vi­o­lent lately after his three years there.

“I’m pray­ing that they do catch who­ever did it,” said Gunter, 53. “Be­cause it could be me, it could be any­body else” who might be shot.

He added: “I’m a per­son who minds my busi­ness. Be­cause if you’re not, re­tal­i­a­tion could come from any­where.”

Smith urged res­i­dents to con­tact po­lice if they know any­thing about the shoot­ing.

“We were inches away from hav­ing an­other McKen­zie El­liott sit­u­a­tion here in Bal­ti­more,” said Smith, re­fer­ring to the 3-year-old girl who was killed by a stray bul­let while play­ing on her front porch in 2014. “If it went the other way, I think we would be more out­raged, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old are re­cov­er­ing from bul­let wounds. That’s ab­so­lutely ridicu­lous, and we should not tol­er­ate it.”

LLOYD FOX/BAL­TI­MORE SUN PHO­TOS

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