‘They took my baby’: Baltimore County community mourns death of 10th-grade student to gun violence

Published on: January 23, 2023 5:40 PM EST|Updated on: January 24, 2023 9:26 AM EST

Lamar Leslie-Allen.
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A community is mourning the death of another Baltimore County teenager who was killed over the weekend to gun violence.

The 15-year-old, a 10th-grade student at Catonsville Center for Alternative Students, was killed Saturday evening in a neighborhood off of Shadwell Court in Windsor Mill.

Lamar Leslie-Allen is described by friends and family as “loving, caring and funny.

He is the second teen killed in the community in less than five months.

Travis Slaughter, a 14-year-old, was killed in a shooting after a football game in September.

WJZ’s Paul Gessler spoke with Lamar’s mother, who is pleading for justice.

Police have not released any suspect information or motive.

“He was phenomenal, phenomenal,” mother Tiona Allen said. “There’s not one bad thing I could say. He was everything a mom could want and ask for.”

Allen was surrounded by family on Monday, two days after her son was killed.

“They took my baby. They took my baby,” Allen said.

Allen told WJZ she was at work Saturday night when she was told that her son had been shot.

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“To get that phone call, you just never think it’s gonna be you,” Allen said. “You just never think it’s going to be a call you’re going to get for your child. Not in a million years.”

Neighbor Aaron Long watched as police swarmed the next-door home throughout the night.

“It’s sad. I have a granddaughter who’s 15,” Long said. “You’re out here in the county, you think it’s not gonna hit out here, but it still hits out here.”

Family said the shooting happened around 9 p.m. Saturday in Lamar’s great-grandmother’s front yard.

“Her mother can’t heal this heart,” family friend Tyra Johnson said. “This is her loved one gone.”

“What are we gonna do? Some mother wakes up every day in this country with a child who’s been taken from them—taken from their family,” said Carolyn Allen, Lamar’s great-grandmother.

Allen now grieves her only child who she describes as funny and respectful.

She wants those with information to speak up.

“His friends knows. Somebody knows,” Allen said.

“All this woman has is memories,” Johnson added. “Somebody come forward. Somebody help her.”

A letter dated Sunday from at Catonsville Center for Alternative Students’ principal said the school is “absolutely devastated” by the news.

The Baltimore County Public School District’s traumatic loss team is available for students and staff.

“This weekend I was made aware of a serious incident that occurred in the community involving one of our students. It is with profound sadness that I inform you of the death of one of our Grade 10th students,” Principal John Klug said. “We are absolutely devastated by this news. Our school community extends our deepest sympathies to the family.”