A teenage boy died after being found shot and lying in the street Monday evening on the 2500 block of Orleans Street in Baltimore, a killing the mayor said on Wednesday could have been prevented.
The 16-year-old boy, whom police later identified as Khaleel Jones, was found near Ellwood Park and was initially believed to be the pedestrian victim of an automobile accident. Officers on routine patrol were summoned to the scene and rendered first aid, along with a citizen, until medics arrived and transported him to the hospital, where he later died.
Police said a preliminary investigation revealed Jones, who turned 16 three weeks ago, was not struck by a vehicle but was instead shot by someone on the 4600 block of Bowleys Lane, about 2.6 miles away in Frankford, before being driven to the location police found him. Police also confirmed Jones was “involved in an attempted carjacking of an off-duty Baltimore City officer” months earlier.
“If something was done the first time, the first time someone was arrested for something like this, that young man will be alive today. That’s the reality,” Mayor Brandon Scott said forcefully at a news conference Wednesday morning.
He said residents need to start looking at judges who act against the wishes of the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office, police and even parents of teenagers accused of crimes.
“If you have parents saying, ‘Please, we need help. Don’t send them home to us right now.’ Then why are we doing it? Why are they doing it? Why?” the Democrat asked. “Because those folks don’t have to talk to those kids’ families. Those folks don’t have to go to those funerals and hear other young people cry.”
High school-age teens in Baltimore continue to be shot in record numbers this year, even as overall nonfatal shootings and homicides are down, an analysis by The Baltimore Banner has found. Last year, 84 juveniles were shot and killed, a record number.
But since then, the situation has grown worse. “We’re arresting the same people, and particularly young people, when you’re talking about robberies and carjackings,” the mayor said, adding that police officers who have arrested the same person “time and time again for the same thing” are growing frustrated.
Scott did not name the state’s Department of Juvenile Services, which oversees Maryland youths accused of crimes, but the agency was tacitly acknowledged throughout his comments.
“We’re now grateful that we have partners in the state that actually want to work to fix those systems,” the mayor said, referring to Gov. Wes Moore, who succeeded term-limited Gov. Larry Hogan. “But how is it that someone who is supposed to be on monitoring clearly isn’t being monitored, time and time and time again?”
Baltimore Banner reporter Adam Willis contributed to this report.