Victim of Baltimore shooting faults police for not investigating actively

February 19, 1994|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,Sun Staff Writer

It's been all but a week since Donald "DJ" Gibson was shot five times on a Northwest Baltimore street. The 18-year-old Columbia youth and his parents say they've yet to see a detective.

The 6-foot, 205-pound former Wilde Lake High School football star came home from Sinai Hospital two days ago.

So far, Mr. Gibson's only contact with police came last Saturday when he was questioned by a uniformed officer as he lay wounded waiting for an ambulance in the 4300 block of Reisterstown Road.

"I know they are busy down there, but they could have gotten in touch with me and let me know what's going on," Mr. Gibson said yesterday from the Columbia home he shares with his father and his 20-year-old sister.

Mr. Gibson sustained bullet wounds to the right heel, right shin, left upper thigh and his left elbow.

Even after seven hours of surgery, small bullet fragments remain lodged near his pelvic bone and in his shin.

Family members say they're furious that city police apparently have not investigated the shooting since filing a preliminary report.

"Nobody's going to pump my son with five bullets, and nobody does anything about it," said DJ's mother, Linda Gibson, who lives in Glen Burnie. "We think they treated it like he was just another little drug bunny. But DJ doesn't deal with drugs."

Sam Ringgold, a Baltimore police department spokesman, said all shootings are investigated by the city's Violent Crime Task Force.

"The family may not have heard from detectives, but that doesn't mean that they're not working on it," Mr. Ringgold said.

According to a police report filed at the Northwest Baltimore police district, Mr. Gibson and his cousin, 21-year-old Terrence Washington, were walking near the intersection of Reisterstown Road and Boarman Avenue about 10 p.m. on Feb. 12. Mr. Gibson said the two were returning to his aunt's Reisterstown Road home from a nearby McDonald's restaurant.

The police report says two men walking on the opposite side of the street crossed over and approached Mr. Gibson and Mr. Washington from behind.

When one of the men said, "Don't move," Mr. Gibson told police, he and his cousin started running. After falling when a bullet hit his leg, Mr. Gibson said he curled up on the ground while one assailant continued to shoot.

Officer John M. Washkevich III interviewed Mr. Gibson before an ambulance arrived.

Mr. Washington, who escaped unharmed, also was questioned, according to the police report.

Shells from a 9mm handgun were found at the scene, according to the report.

"I feel blessed," Mr. Gibson said. "I think they must have thought I was somebody else. I don't think it was robbery because they didn't ask for anything. I hope the police catch who did this because I don't want it to happen to anyone else.

"I think they [police] could do a lot more than they're doing."

After graduating from Wilde Lake in spring 1993, Mr. Gibson, a strong safety who was Howard County's player of the year and a member of The Sun's All-Metro team, headed to Central State University in Ohio on a full football scholarship.

After a knee injury, he returned home, planning to attend Sheppard College in West Virginia next fall.

Doctors treating him for his bullet wounds have told him he'll be able to walk in four weeks and "back to normal" by summer, but his football plans have been postponed indefinitely.

"I'm grateful he's alive. I didn't want him to visit Baltimore because it's too dangerous," said Donald Gibson Sr. "Some guys pulled guns, and my son had to run for his life."

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