On Friday afternoon, less than twenty minutes after dismissal, a student was fatally shot on the campus of Baltimore’s Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School, according to authorities.
A male student from another school in Baltimore City was swiftly identified as a suspect, and a firearm was located nearby and taken into police custody.
“I did not expect this is how I would be concluding the first week of school,” Sonja Santelises, the CEO of Baltimore City Schools, said at a news conference on Friday night.
A Local School in Baltimore According to reports, police officers were present at the school at the time of the shooting and gave chase to the perpetrator. Santelises claimed that the suspect was arrested mere seconds after the crime was committed.
School police were armed, and the suspect’s firearm was recovered, according to a written statement released by Sgt. Clyde Boatwright, president of the Maryland State Fraternal Order of Police.
According to Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, the suspect confronted the male victim in a parking lot behind the school at around 3 p.m. on Friday, and the two got into an altercation that escalated to gunfire.
The victim was transferred to Johns Hopkins Hospital where he or she was pronounced dead shortly after officers at the school performed CPR.
In the first days of the school year, “this is an exceedingly unfortunate scenario, beyond tragic,” Harrison added.
The city’s public school children started the new school year on Monday.
Several shots were heard, and then children were seen running from the school’s rear on Tivoly Avenue toward a bus stop at The Alameda and 35th Street, according to eyewitnesses.
Mayor of Baltimore and Mervo alum Brandon Scott: “This is a tragedy that nearly leaves me at a lost for words.” I can speak for all of my classmates when I say, “This is my school.”
Scott, who is proud to have ties to Mervo, was set to visit the school at 3 p.m. on Friday, when the team was supposed to play at home. This includes the game and all other after-school activities.
Scott urged everyone to consider the impact of such tragedies on the nation’s youth: “children who are sobbing again again because they lost yet another classmate.”
Additional acts of violence have occurred at Mervo and at local schools in recent years. Two Mervo pupils were stabbed by a classmate during lunch during the end of the academic year.
A student at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in East Baltimore was shot and wounded in March. A 17-year-old student at Renaissance Academy was stabbed to death by a classmate in 2015, while a 15-year-old student at William H. Lemmel Middle School was stabbed to death in 2008.
In addition, a 16-year-old student was shot and injured in the parking lot of Catonsville High School in Baltimore County in February. Two other kids from Catonsville High School also faced charges.
Santelises stated that grief counselors were present at Mervo and will remain to support students and faculty.
They were reassured that “it’s OK to feel unhappy, it’s OK to have to have to talk to people because this is not usual for any of us,” she explained.
According to the online schedule, the football team was scheduled to host Edmondson-Westside High School on Friday at 3:45 p.m. Despite losing wide receiver Elijah Gorham to a brain injury received on the field of play, the Mervo Mustangs won the Class 4A/3A state championship last season.
Waiting in his car near the high school to attend to the football game against Edmondson-Westside when he heard about the shooting, T. Johnson (who stated he graduated from the school in 1988 but didn’t want his full name used) learned about the tragedy.
It’s very humiliating. Johnson expressed his sadness over the current state of the school.
Johnson claimed that the school’s prestige stemmed from the fact that admission was competitive and that students took pride in representing the institution.
When he first visited, he noticed that the patrons were wary of starting altercations for fear of being expelled.
A tweet from the city’s education system said that all children had been released from the school after the incident and that all after-school activities had been called off.