Teen Arrested In Shooting Of 5-year-old

Police Say Lamont Davis, 17, Will Be Charged As An Adult

July 05, 2009|By a Baltimore Sun reporter

Police arrested a 17-year-old early Saturday and charged him with shooting a 5-year-old girl who was walking home with a relative after shopping at a neighborhood store.

Lamont Davis will be charged as an adult with attempted murder, assault and reckless endangerment, Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said.

Davis, who police said had a lengthy juvenile record, was part of a group of teenagers brawling on Pulaski Street on Thursday. Davis left the block, returned with a semiautomatic weapon and began firing, police said.

The child, who has not been officially identified although an aunt said she was named Raven, was in pediatric intensive care at the University of Maryland Medical Center, according to the most recent information provided by the hospital. Her family has since requested that the hospital not release information about her.

Several families in the Southwest Baltimore neighborhood where the shooting took place said violence among young people is the result of cutbacks and closings of city programs and facilities that would give young people something to do.

At a news conference Saturday, Bealefeld pushed back against critics who say that city budget cuts and recreation center closures are contributing to violence.

"People with guns belong in jail," Bealefeld said. "Not in [Police Athletic League] centers; not in summer youth jobs. ... We will continue to focus on bad guys with guns."

Detectives have combed the 300 block of Pulaski St. in the days since the shooting, interviewing residents, arresting some youths, turning to informants and developing tips. They learned the nicknames of the youths involved in the fight, but it took time, they said, to fully identify the teens.

The teens involved in the fight "are troublemakers in the community, every single day. They stand out on the street, and they are a pain in the neck to everyone in the neighborhood, every single day," the commissioner said. "... They have parents. They have mentors - people that could mentor them. And we need people to get off their tail and start mentoring their kids, and start being an influence on their kids, and start holding their kids accountable."

The Thursday argument, Bealefeld said, was not related to drug or gang activity.

Mayor Sheila Dixon said in a statement that she was "grateful for the work done by the detectives and officers to quickly solve this terrible act of violence."

She called the incident "a stark reminder that we must remain vigilant in our efforts to get illegal guns - and those who use illegal guns - off the street."

As of late Saturday, police said they had not recovered the weapon used in the shooting, and were executing a search warrant at the South Baltimore home where Davis was arrested.

Davis will be charged with two counts of first- and second-degree attempted murder, two counts of first- and second-degree assault and two counts of reckless endangerment, police said.

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