A man was ordered on Friday to serve 12 years in prison for his part in the mass shooting that killed two people and wounded 28 others in 2023 during an annual celebration at the Brooklyn Homes housing project in Baltimore.

Aaron Brown, 19, pleaded guilty in Baltimore Circuit Court to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the shooting, which happened at about 12:30 a.m. on July 2, 2023. Hundreds of people had gathered for a block party called Brooklyn Day that featured pony rides, snowballs and dancing.

In an unrelated case, Brown pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder and use of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence in a shooting that happened on Harford Road near Grindon Avenue in Northeast Baltimore on May 19, 2023.

As set forth in a plea agreement, Circuit Judge Jeffrey M. Geller sentenced Brown to 60 years in prison, with 48 years suspended, plus five years’ probation. He must serve the first five years without the possibility of parole.

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Geller commended the state and the defense for reaching a “reasonable resolution” in the case. The mass shooting, he said, instilled fear and terror in the neighborhood that reverberated throughout the city. He said there were no words to convey the horror of the crime.

At the same time, Geller said, he wanted to maximize the chances that Brown would be successful and recommended him for the Patuxent Institution, a maximum security prison that’s focused on providing treatment.

“You’re a young person. Very young,” Geller told Brown, who stood handcuffed in a yellow jumpsuit inside the Elijah E. Cummings Courthouse. “Please, please, do the best you can to make yourself a better person.”

The development comes after three people pleaded guilty on Monday to charges including first-degree assault and possession of a regulated firearm by a person under 21 for their roles in the crime. They ranged in age from 15-18.

Two people — Aaliyah Gonzalez, 18, an honors student who graduated from Glen Burnie High School, and Kylis Fagbemi, 20, a forklift operator — were killed in the mass shooting. Law enforcement has not charged anyone with murder in their deaths.

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Baltimore Police outlined their ill-fated and hands-off approach leading up to the shooting in a 173-page report. Baltimore City Council also held hearings.

Photos of Kylis Fagbemi, 20, and Aaliyah Gonzalez, 18 who were killed in the mass shooting in Brooklyn over the weekend.
Kylis Fagbemi, left, and Aaliyah Gonzalez, right, were fatally shot during an annual celebration called Brooklyn Day on July 2, 2023. (Metro Crime Stoppers)

Michael Dunty, chief of the homicide division in the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office, said the plea agreement does not prevent law enforcement from bringing additional charges against Brown if evidence surfaces that implicates him in the homicides.

Brown, he said, arrived with a group including 19-year-old Tristan Jackson just before 10 p.m. at Brooklyn Homes. Surveillance video captured his whereabouts throughout the evening, Dunty said.

Later, Brown, he said, was shot in the hand. He told investigators that he was at the block party and wearing the clothes that health care workers took from him at the hospital.

Police later executed a search and seizure warrant at his home and found a Glock 17. His DNA was on the gun. Ballistics testing revealed that cartridge casings that investigators recovered at both shootings were consistent with being fired from the weapon, Dunty said.

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During an interrogation, Brown told detectives that he fell to the ground, found the gun and returned fire at three people who were wearing masks. Later, Dunty said, surveillance video shows Brown handing the weapon to Jackson, who then fired at seven people.

Neither Brown nor his attorney, Roya Hanna, made a statement before the judge imposed the sentence.

“We would submit on the plea,” Hanna said.

Jackson is charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder and related offenses. He’s being held in the Metropolitan Transition Center and set to appear back in court on June 7.