On the sidewalk in front of the porch where three women were shot, killing 21-year-old Gennie Shird on June 27, sisters and friends of the deceased pay tribute to her life by pouring a little liquor.
Bullet holes from the shooting, which rocked the 3300 block of Elmora Ave. in the Four by Four neighborhood, are still visible in the window where the incident occurred. Blood from one of the victims is still splattered on the steps
On July 3, hundreds of people poured into New Baptist Missionary Calvary Church, located at the edge of the block where the shooting occurred, to remember Shird.
“She was like my baby girl, my fourth child,” said Shird’s mother Rachel Williams during the vigil as family and friends lit candles in memory of the slain 2010 honors graduate of the Doris M. Johnson High School. “Of all of my kids, it was something special about her. It’s like a lot of people gravitated towards her since she was born.”
Shird was killed in a shooting following a neighborhood dispute on June 27. According to police officials, the district received 911 calls of the shooting just minutes after Baltimore Police Northeast District Maj. Robert Worley made patrol rounds in the block. Worley said a group of women, including Shird and the other victims, were all sitting on a porch together.
According to witnesses, one unidentified woman left the porch and returned some time later with an unidentified man. Witnesses said someone fired shots, which hit 3 women, 24-year-old Cierra Williams, a 51-year-old woman, and Shird.
The 3 women were transported to local area hospitals, where Shird, who was shot in the chest, was pronounced dead approximately 30 minutes later.
On the porch with Shird at the time of the shooting that evening was Denell Bishop, 45, mother of Williams. Bishop said her daughter was shot in the head and in both of her legs.
“Doctors think she is going to be brain dead,” Bishop told the AFRO. “When she did wake up for a short time she said to me, ‘What does it mean when you see the light?’... That’s when I knew my daughter was gone. She said she could feel her body floating above us.”
Community leaders including Baltimore Branch NAACP President Tessa Hill-Aston, City Councilmen Warren Branch and Brandon M. Scott, Baltimore State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein and police officers from the northeast district conveyed condolences to family and friends of Shird during the vigil.
Hill-Aston said she is tired of people blaming violence in Baltimore on things such as the lack of jobs. She said, “Just because you don’t have a job doesn’t mean you go around and shoot people... No one should ever lose a child.”
Councilman Warren Branch told the crowd that it is time to speak out against violence.
“Police officers and we in the city can’t do it on our own,” said Branch. “We need your help. If you see something, say something. It doesn’t make you a snitch if you are trying to help your community.”
Worley said one arrest has been made in the shooting. Tierra Fallin, 29, has been arrested and charged with second degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, attempted second degree murder, reckless endangerment, assault in the second degree and a weapons charge. She is being held without bail.
“The whole city of Baltimore is hurting right now, not just your neighborhood,” Scott said. “Black people in this city have to do better.”
Teanisha McFarland, 22, a friend of Shird and her sisters, called the shooting “senseless.” She said she remembers Shird as a sweet, caring person.
“Gennie was a lovable, caring, respectful person,” said McFarland. “It’s never a day that you could be mad or something and she would just walk up to you and give you a hug, make you laugh and just cause you to be in a better mood.”
Shird’s family said it is time for the community to come together and stop the violence.
“Let this be an example that all this fighting and this killing has to stop,” said Tenisha Coley, older sister of Shird. “This could have been prevented. The 40 people shot so far this summer could have been prevented.”
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