Baltimore Police arrested a 17-year-old and charged him with weapons offenses as part of an investigation into Sunday’s mass shooting at a crowded South Baltimore block party.
The unnamed teen’s attorney said police are alleging his client pulled a gun out of a bag hours before the shooting, a moment captured in a viral video that circulated after the incident. Two people were killed in the shooting, and dozens more were injured.
The 17-year-old was taken into custody Friday morning around 7 a.m. after police searched a home. Detectives took the teen to Central Booking, where he is being charged with possession of a firearm by a minor, assault weapon possession, reckless endangerment and handgun in vehicle.
Police have not said whether the teen fired a weapon that injured people or fatally struck 18-year-old Aaliyah Gonzalez or 20-year-old Kylis Fagbemi. Officials say 30 people, most of whom were teenagers, were struck in the attack — one of the largest casualty counts for a single incident in Baltimore’s recent memory.
About two hours before the shooting, someone posted a video clip on social media of what appears to be a young man pulling a gun from a bag. Attorney Michael Clinkscale told The Banner he is representing the 17-year-old who was arrested and police allege his client is the person from the video.
”He’s not being charged with homicide or attempted homicide,” Clinkscale said. “We don’t know exactly what that was in the backpack. I can confirm that the social media video does in fact exist. I can also confirm that there is an allegation that [this] is my client.”
The attorney also said the teen himself was shot when the gunfire began. The teen was wounded in his lower left leg and treated at the hospital, Clinkscale said.
“He was running away from the shooting just like everyone else and was shot,” the attorney said.
A police spokesman declined to comment when asked if the department would confirm that the teen was among the 28 wounded.
The arrest is a significant development in a complex case that traumatized South Baltimore residents and drew scrutiny toward city agencies for their response leading up to and immediately after the shooting.
Investigators have collected bullet casings from more than a dozen guns at the mass shooting scene in Brooklyn, The Baltimore Banner reported Friday.
It remains unclear how many people fired weapons, because some could have had multiple weapons. And it’s possible some of the casings came from discharges earlier in the evening. Police received multiple calls for shootings throughout the night at the party, 911 call logs and dispatch audio tapes show.
In a tweeted statement, Mayor Brandon Scott said the arrest “is a signal that with the community’s help we can get justice for Aaliyah, Kylis, and everyone who has been impacted by this tragedy.”
“I am confident that this investigation will continue diligently working through every single tip, lead and suspect,” he also wrote in the statement.
Baltimore City Councilman Mark Conway, chair of the Public Safety and Government Operations Committee, tweeted he was grateful for the “hard work of police detectives this week, which is continuing as the investigation develops.”
“Glad that a person of interest has been identified, but heartbroken that young people were involved in this shooting,” he said in the tweet. The committee has scheduled a meeting to discuss the shooting for July 13.
In the hours before the attack, neighbors were celebrating the annual Brooklyn Day event with a cookout, snowballs and dancing near the 800 block of Gretna Court. Gunfire shortly after midnight sent hundreds of terrified revelers running for cover.
Before the arrest this week, police said they were looking for at least two gunmen.
Officials have offered up to a $28,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. It was not immediately clear Friday whether anyone would receive a payout in connection with the case.
Although Baltimore’s homicide rate as a whole is tracking downward this year, the city’s youth have faced a sharp uptick in gun violence since 2022.
Baltimore Banner staff contributed to this article.