By Mike Hellgren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — WJZ obtained surveillance video showing someone in a white t-shirt running from the scene followed by another person on a scooter minutes after four people under the age of 18 were shot in the 1700-block of North Milton Avenue in East Baltimore. The violence unfolded just after 9 Tuesday night.

The victims include a 17-year-old girl, twin 14-year-old girls. the youngest victim is a a 12-year-old boy. One of the 14-year-old girls walked to the hospital with a bullet wound. They were sitting on the steps of an abandoned house, according to police.

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“I lost a child to the streets, shot and killed right around the corner in 2008 so I know the feeling of losing a child,” said a mother who lives nearby. She asked WJZ not to use her name and said she is fed up with the violence.

“We need to hold on to our children and have something productive for them to do.”

WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren asked her what she would say to the police commissioner. “Get something done fast, quick and in a hurry because lives are at stake—children’s lives,” she said.

More surveillance video WJZ obtained shows the police response. A marked car with lights flashing arrived on the scene within one minute of the shooting.

“We had police in close proximity who responded in a minute or two—not far away—right there where they were supposed to be. They heard the gunshots,” Commissioner Michael Harrison told Hellgren. “The deployment was there. What we have now are people who are brazen committing very brazen, cowardly acts of shooting weapons indiscriminately sometimes hurting people, hurting young children. This did not have to happen.”

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Hellgren asked the commissioner whether these kids were targeted.

“We don’t know. The answer to that will come out in this investigation. We need good, solid information from anyone out there. We know there were other people out there,”
Harrison said.

There have been 7 people under the age of 18 shot in East Baltomore in just 4 days. That includes a 17-year-old and a 14-year-old struck by bullets on East Hoffman Street Monday. Hoffman Street is just 4 blocks from where the 4 children were shot.

“It’s very frustrating because the state has invested more than $1 billion in public safety in Baltimore City,” Governor Larry Hogan said Wednesday on the city’s violence. “…It goes well beyond the difficulty in recruiting police officers now. It’s just an entire broken system where we are letting repeat, violent offenders shoot people on the streets. We’re not arresting them. We’re not prosecuting them, and we’re not putting them in jail.”

Hogan went on to say, “We need a prosecutor who will prosecute crimes. It’s outrageous and unacceptable that we continue to have more than 300 people murdered on the streets, and it doesn’t seem like there’s a real willingness to get anything done about it.”

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Michael Craig has lived in East Baltimore his entire life. He says there should be more rec centers open and more activities for young people. “It hurts. I’ve got kids myself. It hurts me to my heart, and I feel for the mothers.”