A judge on Thursday ordered three separate trials for the five people charged in the mass shooting that killed two and wounded 28 others in Brooklyn, partially granting a request from prosecutors to join the cases together.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Jeffrey M. Geller issued his ruling at the end of a motions hearing. He directed the state and the defense to appear on Friday for further scheduling in the cases.

The shooting happened at about 12:30 a.m. in the Brooklyn Homes housing project on July 2, 2023. Hundreds of people had gathered for an annual celebration called Brooklyn Day.

Aaliyah Gonzalez, 18, an honors student and recent graduate of Glen Burnie High School, was pronounced dead at the scene. Kylis Fagbemi, 20, a forklift operator who aspired to become a traveling ultrasound technician, died at a hospital.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Michael Dunty, chief of the homicide division in the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office, pushed for five people to be tried at the same time and contended that the move would save court resources and ensure that justice is delivered.

“The reality is they all stem from the mass shooting that occurred over the course of several minutes,” Dunty said. “Much of the evidence against the defendants are mutually admissible.”

But Amanda Savage, Michael Clinkscale, John Cox, Warren Brown and Roya Hanna — the attorneys for the five people charged — argued against the request, citing multiple reasons, including that it would prejudice their clients, confuse jurors and pose logistic challenges. They challenged both the strength of the evidence against their clients and how prosecutors have characterized it in court.

Brown said the optics of five people walking into the courtroom together are bad, stating that it would look like they were in a gang. He said the scene could scare the jury.

“If I were a prosecutor, I would probably be doing the same thing,” Brown said. “I’m trying to save this boy from getting time.”

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Tristan Jackson, 18, and Aaron Brown, 19, who are each charged with seven counts of attempted first- and second-degree murder and related offenses, will stand trial together.

Brown is also charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder and related offenses in a shooting that happened on Harford Road near Grindon Avenue in Northeast Baltimore on May 19, 2023, which will be part of that case.

A 15-year-old and a 16-year-old who are charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder and related offenses will stand trial together. A 17-year-old who’s charged with possession of a regulated firearm by a person under 21 and related offenses will alone stand trial.

The Baltimore Banner is not identifying them because of their age. No one has been charged with murder.

Baltimore Police issued a 173-page report into the case that revealed that officer indifference and a system of failures preventing the city from acting before the shooting.

More From The Banner