At Least 12 Shot During Cookout

Pregnant Woman And Girl, 2, Are Injured In Nonfatal East Baltimore Attack

July 27, 2009|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,dick.irwin@baltsun.com

A pregnant woman and 2-year-old girl were among at least 12 people wounded Sunday night when one or more gunmen opened fire with a semiautomatic weapon at a backyard cookout in East Baltimore, said a city police spokesman.

Police said they didn't know of a motive in the shootings, and no arrests were made immediately.

Police spokesman Agent Donny Moses said there were no life-threatening injuries in the shootings, which occurred shortly before 9 p.m. in the 2600 block of Ashland Ave. in the Madison-East End community.

Moses said ambulances took some of the victims to area hospitals, while others were taken to hospitals by private vehicles. Authorities said Maryland Shock Trauma Center and the emergency rooms at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and Johns Hopkins Hospital received the wounded.

Specific conditions were not available, and the victims' names were withheld pending notification of family members. Moses said the victims were struck in their shoulders, legs and backs and that multiple 911 calls came in from area residents.

Moses said at least one gunman entered the small backyard of the rowhouse on the even side of the street during the cookout and opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon of unknown caliber, hitting at least a dozen victims before fleeing on foot. It was not known whether a car was used to escape, Moses said.

"There are lots of shell casings," Moses said. He said detectives from the Eastern District were interviewing victims at hospitals and local residents. The number of people attending the cook-out was unclear.

Except for the pregnant woman, 23, and the girl, the gender of the victims was not known last night.

Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III was among the officers who reported to the scene. He had no comment last night when approached by a reporter. Moses said the commissioner responded moments after the shootings were reported to make sure the investigation was coordinated and that extra officers from at least one other police district assisted in the investigation.

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