3 shot at random anti-gun groups rally Man flees after firing into city crowd

April 02, 1993|By Frank P. L. Somerville | Frank P. L. Somerville,Staff Writer Staff writer Michael James contributed to this article.

A man randomly shot into a crowd on a West Baltimore street and wounded three people yesterday less than an hour after clergy, neighborhood volunteers and officials gathered downtown to back a voluntary weapons turn-in set for Sunday.

About 1:20 p.m. in the 1300 block of Riggs Ave., police said, a man with a semiautomatic handgun shot a 21-year-old woman in the stomach, injuring her critically. Two men had less serious wounds.

Since Tuesday night, police have counted 14 people shot in Baltimore. Two died, bringing the city's 1993 homicide toll to 81.

This is five more than at the same point in 1992, which was a record-breaking year with 335 Baltimore homicides.

The reason for yesterday's gathering at city police headquarters was the second collection of firearms scheduled as part of the "Turn In the Guns, Non-violence Now" campaign. Guns will be collected Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at four locations. No questions will be asked of those surrendering weapons.

"Each gun taken off the street is a lifesaver for our young people," Police Commissioner Edward V. Woods said. "But the leadership must be upon the adults."

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke noted that the Palm Sunday event will mark the 25th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as the beginning of the Christian Holy Week.

"We honor the memory of Dr. King best by doing everything we can to reduce violence in our community," Mr. Schmoke said.

Referring to the 43 guns destroyed in January after the first turn-in, he said, "We are starting small, but a lot of good things start small."

City Councilman Carl Stokes, D-2nd, said the gun-reduction campaign begun by the Stony Run Friends Meeting and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial United Methodist Church is part of a larger effort that includes "ending violence in the media and in our daily lives."

He quoted actor Jack Nicholson: "If I kiss a woman's breast, it's rated R. If I hack it off, it's PG."

Said State's Attorney Stuart O. Simms, "We are trying to begin a new era of nonviolence in our society. I can think of no better way to begin a time of peace -- Holy Week -- than an effort like this."

Other backers were Council President Mary Pat Clarke; Councilman Anthony J. Ambridge, D-2nd; Councilwoman Agnes B. Welch, D-4th; Vincent DeMarco, executive director of Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse; Neil Saunders, Dave Diorio and Anne Winner of the Stony Run Meeting; Ernestine Petty of Howard Park United Methodist Church; the Rev. Douglas Sands, pastor of King Memorial; the Rev. David W. Rimbach, pastor of Hampden United Methodist Church; and the Rev. Avon J. Bellamy, director of People United to Live in a Safe Environment (PULSE) and Clergy United for the Renewal of East Baltimore (CURE). He was accompanied by members of the two groups wearing identifying caps.

The locations where hired security guards will supervise Sunday's turn-in of weapons and ammunition are McKim Recreation Center, 1120 E. Baltimore St.; Roosevelt Recreation Center, 1221 W. 36th St.; Methodist Conference Center, 5124 Greenwich Ave.; and 530 E. 22nd St., next door to St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church.

After they are received anonymously, the guns will be turned over to the Police Department for disposal.

About 25 supporters of the effort demonstrated with signs at Fayette and President streets downtown during last evening's rush hour.

Meanwhile, Theresa Lewis of the 1000 block of Edmondson Ave., who was shot on Riggs Avenue, was operated on at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Treated at University of Maryland Medical Center for less serious injuries were Jerrod Pryor, 23, of the 2400 block of Druid Hill Ave., and Anthony Mallory, 33, of the 1700 block of Druid Hill Ave.

Police were looking last night for the gunman, who they said apparently shot at random.

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