Reporting Rochelle Ritchie
BALTIMORE (WJZ)— Police continue to search for the gunman responsible for the death of a 15-year-old high school student shot and killed Saturday night. The mayor is now reacting to the death and violence that has plagued her city, and youth advocates are calling for change.
Rochelle Ritchie has more on the victim and what some are calling a city crisis.
The 15-year-old would have started school at Frederick Douglass Monday but instead, his funeral arrangements are being made as the city continues to try to take control of the streets.
At just 15 years old, Frederick Douglass High School freshman Deshaun Jones seemed to be on his way to a promising rap career. But on Saturday night, just after 9 p.m., he was one of seven people shot in West Baltimore, where he died.
His younger sister broke down in tears discussing it.
“He used to say when he start his rapping career, he’s going to keep me happy and have a good life. I don’t know; I just can’t talk,” said Sequoia Jones.
Deshaun’s mother also spoke to WJZ. She says her son didn’t deserve to die.
“The whole time I’m trying to make it to him. This is just him being shot and he can make it through,” said Shanika Harris.
Investigators say the shooting erupted after an illegal dice game. It has not been confirmed if Jones was playing.
“This is not how you deal with conflict within the city,” said Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is also frustrated by the violence; she has strong opinions on the gunman.
“Some idiot coward with a gun sprayed the crowd. It’s just ridiculous,” Rawlings-Blake said.
Shootings across Baltimore City have spiked at an alarming rate in the last year, so much so the department added 150 officers to some of the toughest neighborhoods. The city is also receiving help from the sheriff’s office, Maryland Transit Administration and State Police.
But there is one more element to solving crime.
“We’ve done well with tracking down and arresting, but it’s only going to get better with community support,” Rawlings-Blake said.
For Deshaun’s mother, she says she knows people know who killed her son and it’s time to stop being silent and speak up.
“It’s very important because if it were them, they would want justice brought to their family,” she said.
No arrests have been made. The other six people shot were treated and released.