Baltimore Police arrested a 23-year-old in connection with the murder of Izaiah Carter, a 16-year-old Patterson High School student who died after being shot near the school property just after 2 p.m. on March 6.
Roger Alexander Alvarado-Mendoza was arrested in Texas with the help of Texas law enforcement. “As part of our investigation, we were given witness information that our person of interest was in Texas and was attempting to flee the country,” said Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael S. Harrison.
Baltimore homicide detectives are on their way to Texas to interview Mendoza and extradite him to Baltimore, where he will be formally charged with first-degree murder. He has a previous arrest in 2018 in Baltimore, and another one in Florida.
“We do not have a motive at this time,” Harrison said. Alvarado-Mendoza was too old to be a student at the school.
“The recent uptick in youth violence is not only troubling, but it is heartbreaking,” Harrison said. “This incident is yet another tragic reminder of the level of violence that continues to trouble our city,” he later added. So far this year, 36 teenagers have been shot in the city, a significant increase. Last year, 114 teenagers were shot, up from 85 in 2021, according to statistics compiled by The Baltimore Banner.
At the Monday press conference at City Hall, Harrison and Mayor Brandon Scott, among other city leaders, expressed their condolences to the Patterson High School community and to Carter’s family.
”This increasing trend that we’re seeing with our young people, resolving their conflicts with guns, is deeply disturbing,” Scott said. He said his office has already begun working with other agencies to try to find a solution to the violence. “I don’t ever want to talk about another child dying in Baltimore — ever.”
Scott said he convened the city school board and its CEO, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, Baltimore Police and other public safety organizations to address the issue in February.
While students told The Banner they feel safe within their schools, they fear the streets they have to traverse to get there. Many of this year’s shootings have taken place within a few blocks of a school.
“Not one agency, not one person, not one organization is going to have the solution to what we are seeing. … so I’m also asking everybody to get involved yet again with the lives of our young people, especially those who have them in their households,” Scott added. “We want to know, if you are struggling with your young person, especially a teen, let us know so that we can help you.”
Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby, Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Worley and Shantay Jackson, director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, attended the news conference.
Earlier this month, Baltimore Police found Carter in Joseph E. Lee Park unresponsive and suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. He was transported to the nearby Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Carter was in his first year as a JROTC cadet at Patterson. William Fork, the group’s instructor, said last week that Carter was an “intelligent kid who came into the program to keep out of the noise.”
While many first-year cadets come to find out they don’t like JROTC because of the uniform and grooming standards, Carter didn’t have any issues, Fork said.
“He was consistent in wearing his uniform. And periodically, he thought about maybe going into service after high school,” he said. “He was an intelligent young man and would’ve went far in the program.”
His mother said she feared retaliation against Izaiah after what she described as a mediation meeting held at Patterson in January following an alleged brawl in the school cafeteria involving 23 students.