Man Shot After Dance At Annapolis American Legion

April 14, 1991|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

A 23-year-old man was shot in the neck Friday morning outside the American Legion Post 141 on Forest Drive in Annapolis.

Police say two other people may have been wounded in the incident that occurred at1:53 a.m., just after a weekly dance for young adults was letting out.

One man has been arrested in the case, but police say he may not be the shooter.

"We are not getting much cooperation," Annapolis police spokesman Dermott Hickey said. "It is very confusing. We are still trying to sort things out."

Police say several men got into anargument as they were leaving the dance. Witnesses said several gunswere seen in the crowd, estimated at 300 people, and three shots rang out.

Police found Jamore Van Johnson, of the 300 block Chester Avenue in Annapolis, lying on the sidewalk near the post. He was transported to Maryland Shock Trauma Center at University Hospital in Baltimore, where he was listed in serious condition Friday.

Hickey said witnesses saw two other people, possibly a man and a woman, get shot, but "these persons have not been located nor have they come forward to report their injuries."

John Earl Sims, 22, who is stationed at the North Severn Naval Station in Annapolis, was arrested and charged with a handgun violation. Police say they found a Glock 9mm handgun in his car.

Police were interviewing the man Friday, but Hickeysaid they do not believe he is the shooter.

Police say they have never had problems inside the American Legion hall regarding the weekly disco dances that attract hundreds of people. They say several incidents have occurred in the parking lot after the hall closes at 1:45a.m.

"It is shocking and sad that it happened," said Alderman Samuel Gilmer, D-Ward 3, a member and past president of the post. "We try to give the young people some activities. We try to have a decent activity for people to enjoy themselves and along comes some unsavory person who has disregard for human life."

The dances are for youngadults older than 21. Liquor is served. Alderman Carl O. Snowden, D-Ward 5, said problems usually occur when the crowd overflows and people are turned away.

"They provide an important outlet for young adults," he said. "There are only three clubs in the city that African-Americans utilize, and this is the largest one. It was an unfortunateincident, but there was nothing the club could have done to prevent this."

Snowden said Johnson is the brother of Pyzon J. Wade, a 19-year-old Annapolis man who was shot to death in a drug-related incident in Washington last year.

The alderman said he hopes Friday's shooting is not the start of another summer of violence. Last year, five people were fatally shot in Annapolis, all in or near the city's 10public housing projects. Most of the shootings were believed to be drug-related.

"African-American men have to come to grips with how to prevent black-on-black crimes from going on," Snowden said. "Unchecked homicides can lead to a genocide of a generation of young men."

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