Gloria Williams, 65, said she is still making funeral arrangements for her granddaughter, Gennie Shird, 21, who was fatally killed in a triple shooting June 27, even though she hasn't even been able to identify the body.
"We never even got to ID the body," said Williams fighting back tears during a recent interview with the AFRO in her Belair-Edison home. "For all I know I could be paying for someone else's funeral."
Shird was one of three women shot after a neighborhood dispute in the 3300 block of Elmora Ave. in the Four by Four neighborhood on June 27.
According to police officials, just minutes after northeast district Maj. Robert Worley left the block after making his patrol rounds, the district received 911 calls of a shooting. Law enforcement officials said a group of women, including Shird and the other victims, were all sitting on a porch together.
According to sources, one unidentified woman left the porch and returned some time later with an unidentified man. Sources said someone fired shots, which hit a 25-year-old woman, a 51-year-old woman and Shird, who was hit in the chest.
All three victims were transported to local area hospitals. Police officers said about 30 minutes after the shooting Shird was pronounced dead at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Shird’s sister, Britany Williams, 24, said she does not believe her sister was the intended target of the shooter.
“Gennie had just gotten around there,” said Williams. “The girl had left before Gennie even got there... She was loved by anyone who ever laid eyes on her felt like she was family.”
Williams said the family was barred from viewing the body following a disturbance outside of Johns Hopkins Hospital after the shooting.
“Her mother Rachel was already inside the hospital,” said Williams. “I don’t understand why at least she wasn’t able to view the body.”
Immediately following the shooting, a police spokesperson at the scene told the AFRO that none of the victims had photo identification on them at the time of the incident.
J. Eric Kowalczyk, spokesperson for the Baltimore police department, said there have been no arrests made in reference to the incident. He said he had no further information as the investigation is still open.
According to family, Shird, known as “GennieGurl” by friends and family, graduated in 2010 with honors from Doris M. Johnson High School in Clifton Park. Williams said she graduated with the fourth highest GPA in her class. In high school Shird played volleyball and managed the basketball team. She worked in the school’s office and participated in the school’s entrepreneur program, said her family.
Shird was a part time student at Baltimore City Community College., where she was an undeclared major.
“She was so outgoing and always striving to achieve different things. It was like she wanted to be the best at whatever she was doing,” said her sister.
Gloria Williams said Shird was the fourth oldest of five children, who grew up in Milton-Montford area of east Baltimore. She said Shird had been a member of Christian Temple Baptist Church in west Baltimore for more than 10 years.
“I always took my children to church with me, where I went they went,” said Williams. “She sung on the choir and played in plays.”
Fighting back tears, Britany Williams said, “Gennie was an angel in the Christmas pageant.”
Another of Shird’s sisters, Tenisha Coley, said her and her sisters were more than siblings, she said they were best friends.
“We was best friends, all of us,” said Coley. “We did everything together. We went everywhere together, like the way we are, we have this bond that nothing or nobody can ever come between.”
Minutes after the shooting, Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts told the AFRO that women are more commonly becoming the victims and perpetrators of violent crimes in Baltimore and across the country.
From June 21 to June 30, 11 women have been victims of shootings in Baltimore. Three of the women, including Gennie Shird, were killed.
“We will continue to address it and hopefully have someone in custody in a short amount of time,” said Batts on June 27.
“I’m hurt and I’m angry about that happened,” said Williams. “There was to be some justice, not just for Gennie, but for all of the victims who were killed in this last month. There were 40 something shootings. “
The funeral for Gennie Shird is to be held at 501 N. Milton Ave. at New Lebanon Calvary Baptist Church on July 6. The wake will begin at 10 a.m. and the service will begin at 10:30 a.m.
“I’m just praying they catch the guy and the girl, they murdered my child,” said Gloria Williams.
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