Baltimore police shoot young teen, boy expected to live

Associated Press

Baltimore — Baltimore’s police chief says many unanswered questions remain after an officer shot and wounded a 13-year-old boy carrying a fake gun.

The teen was shot in one leg in East Baltimore Wednesday afternoon, which was also the one-year anniversary of the civil unrest that exploded across Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose neck was broken in the back of a police transport van.

Police say the boy is being treated at a hospital and is expected to survive.

At a news conference held at the scene Wednesday, Davis said there were still many unanswered questions.

“Why this young man chose to leave his home with a replica semi-automatic pistol in his hand, I don’t know,” he said. “Why this young man chose to flee on foot when he was approached by two Baltimore police officers, I don’t know. Why that young man chose not to drop the gun and comply with the officers’ commands to stop? I don’t know that either.”

Details regarding the officers’ conduct were also scant on Wednesday. Davis couldn’t say what specific commands were given, or if the boy pointed the gun at the officers before shots were fired, but said he has “no reason to believe the officers acted in appropriately at this moment,” adding that the child “had every opportunity to drop the gun.”

Davis said two officers on patrol saw the boy with what they thought was a firearm. Davis says the officers identified themselves and the boy ran. When the officers caught up with him about 150 yards away, Davis says they ordered the child to drop the gun. When he didn’t, one of the officers fired.

Davis says the boy had a replica of a semiautomatic pistol. He says that after the shooting, the teen’s mother, Volanda Young, told officers it was a BB gun. She also told The Baltimore Sun that she was home at the time of the shooting, and that her older son ran up to her home, banged on the door and told her his brother had been shot.

Young told the newspaper that when she ran into the street she saw the boy lying on the ground in a pool of blood, and that when she tried to leave the scene to call the hospital she was handcuffed and driven to the police station for questioning. The experience, she said, “was humiliating.”