Man, 19, charged in shooting of four after high school football game

2 teens out of hospital

no motive yet identified

October 31, 2004|By Hanah Cho and Julie Bell | Hanah Cho and Julie Bell,SUN STAFF

A 19-year-old West Baltimore man was charged with attempted murder in the shooting of four young men after a football game Friday night between Patterson High School and Walbrook High Uniformed Services Academy at Patterson Park in Southeast Baltimore, police said yesterday.

Injuries to the victims, ages 15 to 21, were not life-threatening and two were released after treatment at area hospitals. No motive has been identified, and it wasn't clear yesterday whether any victims attend the high schools.

The shooting near Utz Field was the latest youth-related violence reported in the city. A 12-year-old girl was arrested Friday and charged in the fatal beating two weeks ago of a 4-year-old family friend. Last week, a 16-year-old student at Harbor City East was fatally shot in an East Baltimore low-rise public housing community. Two brothers were shot outside Thurgood Marshall High School on Oct. 21, and since the beginning of the school year, more than 40 fires have been set in at least 14 schools.

City officials condemned the latest incident, while, separately, about 35 community residents met last night in a West Baltimore church for a spiritual gathering dedicated to ending the violence.

"For anyone to be that brazen ... is absolutely outrageous," Mayor Martin O'Malley said yesterday at a ceremony dedicating a memorial for fallen Northeast District police officers.

The suspect, Willie Tyson, 19, of the 1600 block of Delano Court has been charged four times for possession of a controlled dangerous substance and once for burglary going back to May of last year, said Troy Harris, a police spokesman. It could not be determined last night if any of those charges resulted in convictions.

Along with four counts of attempted murder, Tyson also was charged with one count of handgun violation, police said.

Referring to Tyson's previous arrests, O'Malley placed blame on the criminal justice system by saying, "This was not a school failing. This was not a police failing."

Police Commissioner Kevin P. Clark said his department will continue to pursue drug dealers. "It's time to put them out of business," he said. "We're going to keep going after them."

Later, at The Old Time Way Church of Deliverance at West Lanvale and North Pulaski streets, residents prayed, sang and pledged to reach out to young people selling drugs to give them other options.

"Right now, murders in Baltimore City are reaching an epidemic level," said the Rev. James H. Jones II, chief executive officer of Rescue in Progress, or R.I.P., a nonprofit group dedicated to offering youths job training and recreational activities. "The Police Department [is] doing everything they possibly can, but they cannot do it by themselves."

Funeral home proprietor Carlton C. Douglass implored those present to call police when drug dealers come to their neighborhoods, saying his business has changed drastically since he began it in the late 1960s: Back then, he rarely embalmed anyone between the ages of 12 and 30. "We were burying grandparents," he said.

On Friday, gunshots erupted about 9:30 p.m. as spectators were leaving the football game between Patterson and Walbrook high schools at Patterson Park's Utz Field near South Linwood Avenue. Officers who heard the gunshots arrested Tyson after chasing him on foot, police said.

Terrance Whitworth, 19, of the 2700 block of Jefferson St. and Derrick Greer, 15, of the 200 block of S. Fagley St., were wounded in their legs and calves, and were released from Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Harris said.

Dennis Brown, 21, of the 2600 block of McElderry St. remained at Bayview last night, hospital officials said. Shawntez Jenkins, 15 of the 1100 block of N. Fulton Ave. was listed in fair condition at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

School officials did not return calls yesterday.

City schools athletic director Bob Wade declined to comment.

Johnny Brown, Walbrook's head football coach, said he and his players were on the bus ready to leave when they heard of the shooting. Friday's game was the second and final night game for his team, he said.

Ned Sparks, Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association executive director, said he was unfamiliar with Friday's shooting, but said any concerns about violence don't appear to be deterring schools from scheduling Friday night games.

"No, as a matter of fact, Howard County just put lights in for all their schools," Sparks said, adding that Morgan State University's stadium is now being used for some Friday night high school football games.

"They're trying to build up Friday night football," Sparks said of schools generally. "It's an American tradition."

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