A Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School student was shot and killed on campus Friday afternoon.
Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) said the shooting happened around 2:53 p.m. during dismissal, reports CBS News. The victim, 17-year-old Jeremiah Brogden, was confronted in the parking lot by a student from another Baltimore City school. Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said the confrontation became “heated” and the suspect fired multiple shots.
Baltimore City School Police officers who were outside chased down the suspect and apprehended him. Officers performed CPR on Brogden. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital and pronounced dead at 3:26 p.m.
The 17-year-old suspect has been formally charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bail at a Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services facility.
Sergeant Clyde Boatwright, president of the Maryland State Fraternal Order of Police, said the school police officers were armed and that they retrieved the suspect’s weapon, according to The Baltimore Sun. He said city school police officers cannot be armed during the school day, but because the shooting took place after dismissal, the officers had their weapons.
BCPS CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises praised the officers’ response.
“What is important for families to know is that the school safety plan was in place,” she said. “It was because of the swift action of our Baltimore City Public School police officers that the suspect was apprehended within seconds of the incident.”
Cristina Duncan Evans, the Baltimore Teachers union teacher chair, said educators need more support.
“We need to prepare and equip staff not just to process their own trauma but to also be a resource to students who may have witnessed a violent incident,” she said.
Santelises said counselors would be available this week for students and school staff.
Anyone with information about the incident should call Metro Crime Stoppers at 866-756-2587.
Police Commissioner, Mayor Condone Baltimore Gun Violence
Commissioner Harrison said easy access to guns and “the willingness to use them just to solve conflict” is a common problem in Baltimore City.
“This is conflict resolution, or the failure to solve conflict in a peaceful, sensible way, but rather someone using a gun that they are not allowed to have in the first place to solve their conflict and take out their anger on someone else,” he said. “And now the community is at a loss.”
Several other violent incidents occurred at Baltimore schools last school year. Last February, a 16-year-old student was injured in a shooting in a parking lot at Catonsville High School. Last March, an 18-year-old was shot outside Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. Toward the end of the school year, two Mervo students were stabbed by a classmate at lunch.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott urged members of the community to get more involved in the lives of young people.
“Get up, get out there, get involved, get off your a** and get involved with these young people,” he said. “We can’t keep seeing this over and over and over again. There are too many young people that are being harmed in our city, but there are also so many others that are out there just waiting for someone to care for them, to show them a better way, to help them grow into the best version of themselves.”
Photo Credit: @BaltimorePolice Twitter