A bank security guard was arrested yesterday, and three other suspects were being sought in the Saturday night shooting that injured 12 people on an East Baltimore street, police said.
Sean Levin Brooks, 23, of the 2000 block of Greenmount Ave. was arrested where he works on St. Paul Street downtown, said police spokesman Agent Doug Price. The spokesman said he did not know the name of the bank where the suspect is a security guard.
Police said Mr. Brooks was charged with 12 counts of attempted murder and related handgun violations. He was being held last night at police headquarters pending a bail review hearing.
Mr. Brooks is accused of shooting into a crowd in the 500 block of E. 21st St. shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday. Police said four men walked along the street firing about 40 shots from a semiautomatic assault rifle and other weapons.
The victims, youths and men ranging in age from 14 to 55, were being treated yesterday at four area hospitals. Five were admitted Saturday night in critical condition at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Several had suffered multiple wounds.
Early yesterday evening, two men still were reported in critical condition and the others were listed as fair, satisfactory or good. Antwoine Hawkins, 15, of Barclay Street was released yesterday from Francis Scott Key Medical Center after being treated for gunshot wounds to the right leg.
"It's near-miraculous that nobody was killed, given the circumstances, the type of weapons used and the number of people gathered there," Agent Price said.
Police Lt. Wayne Wilson said it appears the gunmen were aiming low, because most of the wounds were in the lower body.
Yesterday police still were trying to piece together the events that led to the shooting. But it appeared that gunfire erupted after a sidewalk dice game in front of 520 E. 21st St., a boarded-up brick rowhouse.
Lieutenant Wilson said on Saturday night that one man apparently left the game in anger and returned with a weapon.
Tige Ford, 23, of Brightwood Road, who was wounded in the left arm, hand and hip, said he was standing at the curb when the shooting started.
"I fell on the ground. Yeah, I was scared," Mr. Ford said yesterday from his bed at Hopkins Hospital. "I was just lying there hoping they would stop."
Tabetha Williams, 22, who lives directly across the street from where the shooting occurred, said, "They were playing craps. They do that every day."
She said she saw the gunfire from her third-floor bedroom window.
Ms. Williams said yesterday that she watched as a car pulled up to a group on the sidewalk and three armed men got out. "They asked the people to give up the money," she said. "They told him, 'No,' and the next thing you know they started shooting. When I saw the guns, I ducked."
She said the men walked along the street shooting, then got in the car and drove off. She said the shooting lasted about two minutes.
After the gunfire, hundreds of people massed in the street, blocking ambulances and police cars. Lieutenant Wilson said the crowd was "disorderly" and "uncooperative." But several residents faulted police for heavy-handed, crowd-control tactics. Some also said that the neighborhood residents have soured on police because of years of harassment and verbal abuse.
Antwoine Hawkins' father, Leroy, said he was trying to get to his injured son when police started to push people back from the victims. "I was looking down at my son and the police came and pushed my wife," he said yesterday.
Police ordered Mr. Hawkins, a 44-year-old bail bondsman, to move back. But he claimed he was out of the way. He said he
turned around and quickly was handcuffed, searched and told he had hit a police lieutenant. He was charged with resisting arrest, assaulting an officer and disorderly conduct.
"I understand that he was upset, but we had to move people back," Lieutenant Wilson said of Mr. Hawkins. "It's an unfortunate situation that he was arrested."
Lieutenant Wilson said the police response was prompt and appropriate, considering the size of the crowd and the pandemonium that followed the shooting.
The debris of the night's violence littered the gutter on the north side of East 21st Street on a sunny and cool Easter morning. Paramedics had left behind an intravenous bag, a plastic oxygen mask and a stained gauze pad.
Police discarded the yellow tape they had used to cordon off half the block between Greenmount Avenue and Boone Street. The street was marked with yellow chalk where police found at least 37 spent shell casings.
Near the corner of East 21st Street and Greenmount Avenue, an 83-year-old man spent part of his Easter morning mopping blood from the stone stoop of the home he has lived in since 1951.
"This gambling has been going on for a long time," said the man, who declined to give his name. "I knew one day it would get out of hand."