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Good Samaritan in Baltimore treats gunshot wound of a young victim, laments ‘All they know is guns’

by Andrew Wright
4 comments
Baltimore block party shooting

On Monday, law enforcement was on the hunt for the individuals who initiated a deadly shooting at a holiday block party in Baltimore. The incident claimed two lives, injured 28, and compelled a local resident to intervene upon discovering a wounded teenage girl at her doorstep.

Police have named the deceased as Aaliyah Gonzalez, 18, and Kylis Fagbemi, 20. The injured range from ages 13 to 32, with over half under 18 years of age, as stated by officials.

Charlene Bowie, a 66-year-old local resident living near the site of the incident, recounted witnessing a large assembly of primarily teenagers. “Initially, they seemed to be enjoying themselves. But soon, under the influence of alcohol, their behavior started becoming erratic,” she expressed.

When the situation escalated, Bowie alerted the police and advised her 15-year-old granddaughter to come inside. Shortly after, they heard gunshots; one of them hit their air conditioner, causing a piece to strike her granddaughter’s back. Though unhurt, they both took shelter on the floor, Bowie explained.

Soon after, she heard a frantic knocking at her door. Upon opening it, she found a young girl, shot and lying on her steps. Bowie rushed to fetch a rag and used it to tie an improvised tourniquet around the girl’s leg to stem the bleeding. She recalled, “I kept speaking to her, trying to keep her calm.”

The news of young individuals losing their lives was especially distressing for Bowie, who lost both her son and grandson to separate instances of gun violence years ago. “It’s heartrending because they’ve barely begun to live. All they understand is guns, and it’s tragic,” she expressed sorrowfully.

The conditions leading to the Sunday shooting are under investigation. The authorities spent extensive hours examining a broad crime scene in the Brooklyn Homes area in Baltimore’s southern section.

As of early Monday, no arrests had been made. Baltimore’s acting Police Commissioner Richard Worley revealed that it was unclear whether the shooting was targeted or random. The presence of multiple shooters was, however, suspected.

Worley added that the event, a tradition for years, was held without a permit this year. The police were not informed in advance, unlike previous years. “By the time we arrived, the incident had already taken place,” Worley admitted.

In the wake of the Baltimore incident, the nation has seen other violent episodes leading up to the July Fourth holiday. In Kansas, a nightclub shooting injured seven and two more were hospitalized after being stampeded in the panic.

The eruption of violence in Baltimore happened during a week when federal prosecutors were promoting efforts to decrease violent crime in the city. The number of homicides and shootings reported so far this year is almost 130 and close to 300, respectively, albeit lower than the same period the previous year.

James Townes, a local resident whose son was fatally shot two years ago, described his frantic search for his other two children, aged 16 and 11, who were present at the block party. Upon finding them safe, he held them for a significant period of time, expressing relief.

Expressing sorrow, Governor Wes Moore said, “My heart breaks for these victims, their families, and the Baltimore community that is coping with the loss.”

In contrast to this year, several locals noted that police were deployed at the block party in previous years. The annual event in July celebrates the South Baltimore neighborhood, comprised of modest row houses and public housing.

64-year-old Anthony Lewis, a bullet passed through a window and lodged into his bathroom wall during the incident. A subsequent bullet pierced a downstairs window. Afterhis girlfriend’s distress, thinking he was shot, Lewis is now considering his plan to move out of the city more urgently.

“I need to get away from it,” he declared.


Note: This story corrects the spelling of Aaliyah Gonzalez’s surname throughout.


Note: This story corrects the number of injured throughout to 28, not 30.


This report includes contributions from Ramer, reporting from Concord, New Hampshire, and Kimberlee Kruesi in Nashville, Tennessee.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Baltimore block party shooting

Q: How many people were injured in the Baltimore block party shooting?

A: A total of 28 people were injured in the Baltimore block party shooting.

Q: Were there any fatalities in the shooting?

A: Yes, two people lost their lives in the Baltimore block party shooting. The deceased were identified as 18-year-old Aaliyah Gonzalez and 20-year-old Kylis Fagbemi.

Q: Were the shooters apprehended?

A: As of early Monday, no arrests had been made, and the authorities were still searching for the suspects involved in the Baltimore block party shooting.

Q: Was the shooting targeted or random?

A: The exact circumstances and motives behind the shooting are still under investigation. While it remains unclear if the shooting was targeted or random, the police believe there were multiple shooters involved.

Q: How did the community respond to the shooting?

A: The Baltimore community, along with local residents, expressed shock and grief over the incident. The governor expressed his sympathy for the victims, their families, and the entire Baltimore community.

Q: Was the block party an authorized event?

A: Unlike previous years, no permit was issued for the block party this year, and the police were not informed in advance about its occurrence. The event took place without proper authorization.

Q: Did similar incidents occur in other locations?

A: Yes, there have been reports of other violent incidents leading up to the July Fourth holiday, including a shooting at a nightclub in Kansas that resulted in injuries and panic.

Q: What is the current state of gun violence in Baltimore?

A: Baltimore has been struggling with high levels of gun violence, with nearly 130 homicides and close to 300 shootings reported so far this year. Efforts to reduce violent crime in the city are ongoing.

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4 comments

CuriousMind July 6, 2023 - 5:16 pm

how can they not know if it was targeted or random? they should find out fast, so we know if it’s safe here! need justice for the victims! #StopTheViolence

Reply
CuriousMind July 6, 2023 - 5:42 pm

how can they not know if it was targeted or random? they should find out fast, so we know if it’s safe here! need justice for the victims! #StopTheViolence

Reply
bmore4life July 6, 2023 - 7:42 pm

i heard that block party was always happening every year, but no permit this time? no wonder police didn’t know! they gotta communicate better!

Reply
bmore4life July 7, 2023 - 12:13 am

i heard that block party was always happening every year, but no permit this time? no wonder police didn’t know! they gotta communicate better!

Reply

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