15-year-old girl shot to death at party

April 17, 1994|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Sun Staff Writer

An argument between two rival neighborhood groups of teen-age girls at a house party in West Baltimore ended in gunfire early yesterday, leaving a 15-year-old girl dead and an older teen charged in the shooting, city police said.

Jennell Allen of the 2500 block of Whitelock St. was shot five times with a small-caliber handgun about 12:20 a.m., police said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kimerly Thomas, 18, of the 2500 block of Woodbrook Ave. was arrested at her house yesterday afternoon and charged with first-degree murder and using a handgun in the commission of a felony.

Homicide Detective James Hagin said the shooting occurred at a party in a rowhouse in the 1500 block of McCulloh St., attended by about 80 people.

Police said they do not know what brought the two rival groups together.

They said Jennell, despite her Whitelock Street address, belonged to a group called CBS, which stands for the streets, Calhoun, Baker and Stricker. The suspect belonged to a group calling itself The Girls of Whitelock, investigators said.

Police said the two groups argued last night in the basement, resulting in a pushing match between Jennell and another girl.

The cause of the argument was unclear last night, police said. Detective Hagin said typical fights are over turf and that "there was a lot of on-going tension" at the party.

He declined to describe the two groups as gangs, saying he "never heard of them" before the shooting.

Jennell was shot as several party-goers watched, police said. The attacker then fled, they said.

Jennell's mother, Janice Allen, 31, said her daughter, an eighth-grader at Harlem Park Middle School, was not involved in an organized group of teens and said she never had heard of the two groups that police mentioned.

She said her family, including Jennell's two brothers and a sister, Jason, 12, Justin, 9, and Jenita, 11, moved last month from Stricker to Whitelock street.

"All I know is that my daughter was dancing, and the girl got mad," Ms. Allen said, adding that another girl from the party ran to her house four blocks away to tell her of the shooting.

L Ms. Allen said she did not know the suspect in the shooting.

She also said the shooting was the second violent death for the family. Jennell's father, Milton Allen Jr., was stabbed to death four years ago during an argument, she said.

A funeral for Jennell is being planned for Thursday at Chatman-Harris Funeral Home, in the 1700 block of McCulloh St.

Detectives questioned the witnesses at the party and obtained an arrest warrant for Ms. Thomas, who was being held last night in the Woman's Detention Center awaiting a bail review. Police said they did not recover a weapon.

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