A Mervo High School student was fatally shot on campus shortly after being fired; suspect quickly captured – Baltimore Sun

A Mergenthaler Vocational and Technical High School student was fatally shot on the Baltimore campus on Friday afternoon, less than 20 minutes after he was fired, officials said.

Authorities quickly apprehended a suspect, a student from another Baltimore City school, and recovered a handgun from the area.

“I didn’t think that was how I would end the first week of school,” said Sonja Santelises, CEO of Baltimore City Schools. at a press conference on Friday evening.

Baltimore City School police were at the school when the shots were fired and were pursuing the suspect, officials said. Due to quick police action, the suspect was apprehended seconds after the incident, Santelises said.

sergeant. Clyde Boatwright, president of the Maryland State Fraternal Order of Police, said in a written statement that officers at the school were armed and also recovered the gun from the suspect.

Boatright said in an interview that the city school police cannot be armed during the school day, but because the shooting happened after the firing, the police had their guns. He said it took “good police work” to apprehend the suspect.

“Officers were able to identify who the shooter was, identify his route and pursue him, recover the firearm, take him into custody without incident, and rescue the injured person,” he said.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said shortly before 3 p.m. Friday, the suspect approached the male victim in a parking lot behind the school and they had a heated encounter before the suspect walked away. shoot several times.

School police performed CPR on the victim, who was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital and pronounced dead a short time later.

“This is an extremely tragic, beyond tragic situation that occurs on a school property at the start of the school year,” Harrison said.

Monday was the first day of school for public school students in the city.

Nearby residents described hearing multiple gunshots and then seeing students fleeing the back of the school on Tivoly Avenue toward a nearby bus stop at the Alameda and 35th Street.

“This is a tragedy that almost leaves me at a loss for words,” said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, a Mervo graduate. “Everyone knows this is my school.”

Scott, who often brags about his relationship with Mervo, had a pre-scheduled visit to the school at 3 p.m., which was to play a home football game on Friday afternoon. All extracurricular activities, including play, have been canceled.

“When we have this loss of life in this way, I want us all to take a moment to reflect on what it means for our young people…children still crying because they lost another classmate” , Scott said.

Other violent incidents have taken place in Mervo and in schools in the city in recent years. Towards the end of last school year, two Mervo students were stabbed by a classmate at lunch.

Last March, an 18-year-old was injured in a shooting outside Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in East Baltimore. In 2015, a 17-year-old student was fatally stabbed by a classmate at Renaissance Academy, and in 2008, a 15-year-old was fatally stabbed at William H. Lemmel Middle School.

A shooting also occurred in a parking lot at Catonsville High School in Baltimore County last February, injuring a 16-year-old student. Two other Catonsville High students have been charged.

Santelises said counselors were available to students and school staff onsite at Mervo, and would remain on campus to provide bereavement support.

“We let them know that it’s okay to be upset, it’s okay to have to talk to people because that’s not normal for any of us,” she said.

Bereavement and loss support will be available at Weinberg Y in Waverly at 900 East 33rd St. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and Monday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., depending on a Publish on Mervo’s Instagram account. Students and staff can also call Roberta’s House at 844-227-3478.

After speaking to Mervo employees, Baltimore Teachers Union President Diamonté Brown said they hoped there would be ongoing conversations about mental health services in the future. She said faculty and staff needed space, they too were traumatized and needed healing.

“Right now, of course, it’s a really disappointing and frustrating situation,” Brown said. “Our heart goes out to the families.”

Democratic candidate for Baltimore State’s Attorney Ivan Bates written in a statement Saturday that he was praying for the city and that he would act.

“Every act of violence hurts to hear, but the recent shootings at Mervo High School and Marble Hall Gardens complex near Morgan State bring incredible pain to my heart,” Bates said on Twitter. “My administration’s primary focus will be the illegal firearms that fuel the retaliatory cycle of gun violence in our city.”

On Friday afternoon, a yellow police tape blocked traffic along Tivoly Avenue behind the high school, where officers and crime scene technicians were concentrated in a small parking lot.

The high school dismisses the students at 2:35 p.m., according to a online timetable shared by Baltimore City Public Schools.

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The high school football team was scheduled to host Edmondson-Westside High School at 3:45 p.m. Friday, according to a online timetable. The Mervo Mustangs won the Class 4A/3A state championship last year after catcher Elijah Gorham died of a head injury sustained on the field.

T. Johnson, who said he graduated from school in 1988 and did not want his full name used due to the circumstances, was waiting in his car near the school to go to the football game against Edmondson-Westside when he heard about the shooting.

“It’s embarrassing. It’s sad that this school has come to this,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the school was held in high regard because students had to apply to be accepted and students were proud to go.

“When I came here, you were afraid to fight” and get fired, he says.

After the shooting, all students were expelled from school and extracurricular activities were cancelled, according to tweet from the city’s school system.

Anyone with information about the shooting has been asked to call detectives at 410-396-2100. Anonymous reports can be sent to Metro Crime Stoppers’ whistleblower line at 1-866-7LOCK-UP.

Martha K. Merrill