City girl, 11, left wounded, plenty angry 'He's a bad person,' she says of gunman

June 17, 1992|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

Ebony Briscoe is angry. The 11-year-old West Baltimore girl wants to know who shot her and why.

Ebony was waiting in line for a snow cone Monday evening when she heard a flurry of gunfire.

She managed to push her little sister to the ground.

But before Ebony could duck, she was struck in the back by a bullet.

"He's a bad person," Ebony says of her unknown assailant.

She was one of three people wounded Monday when three men drove up and sprayed the corner of Riggs and Arlington avenues with 13 bullets in what police describe as a drug-related shooting.

One man, who police believe was the intended victim, was shot in the foot.

Another man was grazed by a bullet between the eyes.

The three gunmen remained unidentified and at large last night.

Ebony is the 16th child under the age of 15 to be wounded by gunfire in Baltimore this year.

She was at least the fifth to be hit by a stray bullet.

"She has a little attitude. She's mad. She's upset that she got shot," said her mother, Valerie Green, after taking Ebony home from the Maryland Shock Trauma Center yesterday afternoon.

The bullet is still lodged in Ebony's back.

"She said, 'Mom, my body is going to be messed up.' I said, 'You'll heal up,' " her mother said.

Mrs. Green, a liquor store cashier, and her husband, James, a chef, said Ebony has a lot to live for.

She is a good student and entering the sixth grade at Father Charles A. Hall Middle School.

Ebony loves science -- her favorite television programs are Discovery Channel and National Geographic specials -- and someday hopes to become a veterinarian.

One stray bullet almost ended her dreams.

Ebony and her sister, Ashley, 7, were walking with their mother to their home in the 1600 block of McCulloh St. about 8:30 p.m. Monday when the girls asked if they could get a snow cone.

Mrs. Green told them she would wait across the street and down the block a bit.

The two girls approached a corner house, which was crowded with neighborhood children waiting to buy the cold treats from the family inside.

"And before you know it, the bullets were flying," Mrs. Green said.

"I saw these people running down the street," Ebony said in a tremulous voice, a hospital bracelet still around her wrist. "And then I tried to get off the steps. And I told my sister to get down." Ebony pushed Ashley to make sure.

"And that's when I felt it back here, and I felt it bleeding," Ebony said, gesturing to her wound.

Mrs. Green heard the shots and came running.

"Before I could get there, the little one came running up to me saying her sister had been shot," she said.

When Mrs. Green went to Ebony, Ebony got up from where she had been sitting. "And she said, 'I'm shot, Mom!' "

The mother sat on the ground with her daughter and held her.

"She didn't cry or anything, she was so calm," Mrs. Green said. "Everyone else was falling out and crying. But she just sat there. She wasso brave."

Gunfire is not uncommon in the neighborhood.

Mrs. Green noted that Ervine Harris, a 19-year-old pregnant woman, was hit by a random bullet and killed 10 days ago just three blocks from the corner where Ebony was shot.

In that shooting, a gunman sprayed the 1100 and 1200 blocks of Myrtle Ave. with bullets. Two people were wounded, one a 14-year-old girl.

In Monday's shooting, Mrs. Green said it was surprising that more children were not hit.

"It's a crowded corner, because there's a house that sells frozen cups and snow balls. Every summer the house sells them, so it's common that a lot of children will be around there," she said.

"It's a shame that [the gunmen] don't care who's in the way," Mrs. Green said. "They don't have respect for little children, none whatsoever. . . . Just to go get a frozen cup, you have to go through something like this. It's like Gunsmoke, a western town or something."

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