Woman, 19, fatally shot Saturday called 'innocent bystander'

Police say male victims of triple shooting not cooperating with investigators

March 14, 2011|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

City police say the 19-year-old woman who was killed in a triple shooting outside a Better Waverly deli Saturday night was an innocent bystander, and the men who survived the incident are not cooperating with investigators.

Tanise Ervin graduated recently from W.E.B. Du Bois High School and was an employee at a fast-food restaurant, family and friends said. She hoped to attend Coppin State University in the fall to study nursing.

She lived with her mother at Serenity Place, an apartment building on Gorsuch Avenue. Serenity Place is affiliated with the Marian House women's shelter, where her mother was a client, according to Katie Allston, the executive director of Marian House.

Officers responding to a report of a shooting at Gorsuch Avenue and Independence Street about 6 p.m. Saturday arrived to find Ervin, a 20-year-old man and a 24-year-old man with gunshot wounds, police say.

Ervin was "not the intended victim of this shooting," police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Monday. He said the men she was with had been involved in an altercation with the gunman.

"Their cooperation is less than what we'd like," Guglielmi said.

Family and friends were reeling from Ervin's death.

"She was a loving person and had a heart of gold," said friend Shonte Harmon, 21. "She was an innocent bystander. She was taken away before she could even live her life."

Ervin had reunited with her mother in recent years after living for a time in Frederick. Her mother has been a participant for three years in Marian House's programs for homeless or recently incarcerated women, Allston said.

"She was just a lovely young woman, who had just turned 19" last Tuesday, Allston said.

The corner of Gorsuch and Independence has been plagued by violence for many years, said City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, who represents the area. Marian House has hosted a series of concerts and public gatherings on the corner to push criminals away from the area, she said.

"This is enough already," said Clarke. "It's time to root out the problems."

Allston said the neighborhood has experienced problems related to the corner store, through no fault of its owners, who close the store each day at 7 p.m.

"I don't want my staff or the residents who live here to feel this is the kind of neighborhood that they have to be afraid of, and that's one of the many reasons why we need to catch the person who did this," she said.

Guglielmi, the police spokesman, said the department was deploying extra officers to the area in response to the shooting.

Police are asking anyone with information to call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100.

Baltimore Sun reporter Julie Scharper contributed to this article.


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