Girl, 14, shot in gun mishap at Gallery Police say youths were showing off

June 15, 1991|By Jessamy Brown and William F. Zorzi Jr.

A 14-year-old girl was accidentally shot in the leg last night when a gun apparently belonging to an acquaintance discharged on the fourth floor of the Gallery at the Inner Harbor, Baltimore police said.

Mona James of the 900 block of North Central Avenue was taken by ambulance to the University of Maryland Medical Center, where she was treated for a superficial gunshot wound above the right knee and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Three 14-year-old West Baltimore youths, who were not identified because they are juveniles, were arrested and charged with handgun violations, said police Lt. Edward C. Glacken III.

The youths were being held last night at police headquarters pending a decision by juvenile authorities on whether to release them, Lieutenant Glacken said.

After the incident -- apparently the first shooting at the Gallery since it opened in September 1987 -- police recovered a .38-caliber revolver and a .25-caliber semiautomatic handgun.

According to Lieutenant Glacken, the youths had been seated at a table near the food concessions just before 8:30 p.m. with two girls they had met earlier in the evening.

One of the youths reached into a drawstring cloth bag he was carrying and pulled out a .38-caliber blue-steel revolver and began spinning the cylinder, apparently to impress the girls, Lieutenant Glacken said.

Not to be outdone, a second youth reached in the bag and pulled out a .25-caliber automatic, he said.

When the first teen-ager put the revolver back in the bag, he accidentally pulled the trigger, blowing a hole in the bottom of the bag and wounding Miss James in her right knee beneath the tabletop, the lieutenant said.

The bullet ricocheted off the floor and was later recovered, he said.

As Miss James fell to the floor, patrons scattered, and the youth with the .25-caliber semiautomatic ran to a nearby men's room where he attempted to hide the gun in a towel dispenser, Lieutenant Glacken said.

Three police officers arrived on the scene just after the shooting, recovered the weapons and took the three youths into custody, he said.

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