Annapolis leaders seek community help after shooting paralyzed 15-year-old boy – CBS Baltimore

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A day after a shooting in Annapolis injured three children, including a 15-year-old boy who was paralyzed, city officials and church leaders called on the public Tuesday to share what they know.

It was the first of three shootings reported in the city in 24 hours, and each incident occurred within a three-mile radius.

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“Last night, someone’s 15-year-old son was paralyzed by a gunshot. Someone’s daughter is traumatized and was lucky to survive,” said Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley. “We’re asking people who know anything about this to come forward.”

Along with Police Chief Edward Jackson, Alderman Rhonda Charles and local religious leaders, Buckley said the city is taking a social approach to crime, but he said violence like Monday’s is unacceptable.

“We’re going to find out who did this,” the mayor said. “It will not improve the situation of the paralyzed young man, but we are bringing people to justice. They need to realize that this will not be tolerated in the city of Annapolis.

The shooting was reported around 7 p.m. Monday in the 1300 block of Tyler Avenue in the community of Robinwood. A 15-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl were taken to area hospitals with gunshot wounds.

The girl is discharged from hospital, but the boy remains hospitalized in stable condition. A third child, a 15-year-old girl who was injured while fleeing the gunfire, was treated and discharged from an area hospital.

Police suspect the shooter(s) emerged from some nearby woods and fired “indiscriminately” before fleeing into the woods the same way they arrived.

“All I heard were very close shots, about eight or nine shots,” one teenager who escaped unscathed told WJZ. “Once I heard that, I fell to the ground.”

No arrests were announced and no suspicious information was published.

Annapolis police are investigating two other reported shootings, Capt. Amy Miguez said.

About three hours after the two children were shot, officers responded at 10:05 p.m. to the 1900 block of Copeland Street to multiple reports of gunshots. There they found bullet casings but no victims or suspects. A vehicle and two houses were hit.

The third reported shooting came on Tuesday afternoon when officers responded at 1 p.m. to the Bens Drive unit block for a reported shooting. Again, no victims or suspects were found.

Miguez said police have not found a connection between the shootings, but each incident is being investigated.

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“We can’t become numb to everyday gun violence,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said in a tweet Tuesday.

Chief Jackson expressed confidence in the abilities of his department’s officers, whom he described as some of the most accomplished investigators in the country. But he said they cannot end the violence on their own.

“We need the community to get more involved,” Jackson said. “If you see something, say something. There’s no way we’re comfortable with 11- and 15-year-olds being gunned down anywhere, not just in the city of Annapolis, anywhere.

The police chief said the community cannot rely solely on the criminal justice system to prevent violence and hold people accountable. He added that it also depends on families, schools and faith-based institutions.

“We have to make sure that when these kinds of things happen, we all have to have that righteous outrage to say it’s not going to be tolerated,” Jackson said.

Bishop Craig Coates echoed the leader’s remarks, saying the lives of two children had been changed forever and their peers had been traumatised. He called them victims of a war that “children shouldn’t have to fight”.

“It is a war against our peace and security in our communities. And our enemy’s weapons are not just guns. It’s the ability to instill fear, so we don’t fight back,” Coates said. “How do we respond? Certainly not with weapons but with a voice.

He said the people of Annapolis still have the ability to come together and rid their community of this problem. He said part of that effort is understanding that your neighbor’s child is also your child, and it could have been them instead.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we still have the ability to fight back,” Coates said. “And that’s just refusing to have our voices silenced.”

Pastor Cheryl Menendez of World Family Ministries recalled how the community came together after a young man was murdered in Robinwood about nine years ago. She said the effort took months but ultimately resulted in an arrest.

“Is anyone really tired?” But are you tired enough to do something? she says. “…Let’s work together instead of just talking. Once the lights are off, the cameras are off, the news media are off, what are we going to do after that? »

Alderman Charles, a lifelong Annapolis resident, said the community is so tight-knit that people are often reluctant to come forward or report someone because they are a parent, classmate or long-time friend.

“I beg of you, I beg of you, all of you out there and here, if you know of anyone who is engaging in this behavior, please call the authorities or call the pastors,” she said. “They are there to help us.”

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