A 17-year-old who’s charged with attempted first-degree murder and related offenses in a shooting that injured five people at Morgan State University during homecoming week celebrations will continue to be held without bail, a judge ruled on Friday.
District Judge Kent J. Boles Jr. made the decision at a bail review hearing at the John R. Hargrove Sr. District Court Building, stating that the teen poses an “extreme danger to the community at large.”
“The defendant will be held without bond,” Boles said.
The teen wore a yellow jumpsuit and appeared via video conferencing at the court proceedings. The Baltimore Banner is not identifying him because he is a minor.
“This did occur at Morgan State University,” Assistant State’s Attorney Susan Rodgers said. “The state would ask that he be held without bail,” she later added.
Police, she said, found at least 17 cartridge casings at the scene. Rodgers said there is surveillance video of the shooting, and a witness identified the teen.
When law enforcement arrested him, Rodgers said, the teen was in a car with two other young people who each had 9 mm handguns as well as an adult. She said there was another weapon found inside the vehicle.
But Robert Linthicum, chief attorney of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender’s Youthful Defendant Unit in Baltimore, requested that the judge to release his client on home detention or set a reasonable bail.
He said his client lives in Washington, D.C., and attends the Kingsman Academy Public Charter School. The teen also volunteers at a recreation center near his home and helps children with their homework and sports, including basketball, Linthicum said.
Linthicum said the young man is religious and has “incredible family support,” noting that his mother twice made the drive to attend the hearing.
Baltimore Police have also obtained an arrest warrant for 18-year-old Jovan Williams in the shooting, which injured four students and one visitor on Oct. 3 at the historically Black university in Northeast Baltimore. Law enforcement believes that the gunfire was the result of a conflict between two groups, and that none of the people who were shot had been involved in the dispute.
Williams is one 16 reputed gang members of the Kennedy Street Crew, or KDY, who were indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in a sweeping drug and gun and money laundering case. They’re accused of running “prolific open air drug trafficking markets” in Northwest D.C.
The Metropolitan Police Department’s Violent Crime Suppression Division, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Marshals Service on Jan. 26 executed a search warrant at a home and arrested nine people — including Williams and the teen — in the basement, according to a search warrant.
Law enforcement reported that they found 10 firearms as well as three extended magazines and three large capacity magazines.
Following the shooting, Morgan State University called off classes and canceled the remainder of its homecoming week activities, which included a football game against Stony Brook University.
Morgan State University President David Wilson announced that the school would add 8,000 feet of fencing to enclose 90% of the campus. The change would make it so there were only a few points of entry and exits, where people would have to show ID to enter campus.
The security plan also calls for increasing police presence, installing additional cameras and exploring whether to add more blue-light alarm systems and guard booths at a cost of $22 million.
“We’re doing this not to keep out our neighbors and community, we’re doing it to keep out the bad actors,” Wilson said at a town hall. “We do not want bad actors in our family disrupting our core values. We’re simply extending the security barrier around campus.”
It’s unclear when the teen is expected back in court.