Baltimore samaritan who bandaged a shooting victim from block party says ‘All they know is guns’

Community members, who didn't provide a name, visit a resource center set up to help victims the mass shooting incident in the Southern District of Baltimore, Monday, July 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Nathan Howard)

BALTIMORE — Authorities searched Monday for the suspects who opened fire during a holiday weekend block party in Baltimore that killed two people, wounded 28 others and prompted one resident to jump into action when she found a wounded teenage girl on her doorstep.

Police identified the deceased as 18-year-old Aaliyah Gonzalez and 20-year-old Kylis Fagbemi. The 28 injured victims ranged in age from 13 to 32, with more than half younger than 18, officials said.

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Charlene Bowie, 66, who lives close to where the shooting took place, said she saw a huge crowd, largely made up of teenagers.

“They were having fun in the beginning, but you know kids … they started drinking and they was getting all out of order,” she said.

Bowie said she called the police and told her 15-year-old granddaughter to come inside. They heard gunshots a little while later, and a bullet struck her air conditioner, breaking off a piece of it and hitting her granddaughter in the back. The girl was unhurt, and they both laid on the floor, Bowie said.

“Then I heard some banging on the door — boom, boom, boom, real loud — so I come down and got the door. The little girl (was) laying on my steps, shot,” she said.

Bowie said she ran inside to get a rag, then tied a makeshift tourniquet around the girl’s leg.

“I just kept talking to her so she wouldn’t get panicky, you know,” she said.

Learning that young people were killed in the shooting was especially painful for Bowie because she lost her son, 19, and her grandson, 15, to gun violence in separate shootings years ago.

“It hurts so bad because they haven’t begun to live. They don’t even know what life is, they don’t. All they know is guns. That’s all they know, and it’s sad,” she said.

No arrests had been made by early Monday. Richard Worley, Baltimore’s acting police commissioner, said it wasn’t clear if the shooting was targeted or random.

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