By Tashi McQueen,
AFRO Political Writer,
Report For America Corps Member,

Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) has reported that two students were shot on Friday, just days after five students were shot in Edmondson Village Shopping Center, leaving one dead.

“Today, we learned that two students were injured in a shooting across the street from Benjamin Franklin High School,” said City Schools in a statement. “Families of the victims have been notified. Police are investigating the incident, which did not occur on our campus. The school dismissed near their regular bell time. After school programs and the home game have been canceled.”

Police issued a statement about the Friday shooting via social media.

“On December 6, 2022, at approximately 2:07 p.m., Southern District officers responded to the 1100 block of Cambria Street for a shooting,” said police, in the statement. “Upon arrival, officers located a 16-year-old male who had been shot in the right ankle, and a 15-year-old female who was suffering from a gunshot wound to her lower left back. Both victims were transported to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.”

The Southern District have started an investigation into the shooting, but have shared little details.

“Preliminarily, detectives have learned that an unknown black male walked up on a group of teenagers in the rear of the 1100 block of Cambria Street and opened fire, without warning,” said police.

The shooting closes out a deadly week for City Schools students.

On Jan. 4, at 11:18 a.m. Southwest District patrol officers of the Baltimore City Police Department responded to the 4400 block of Edmondson Avenue for a shooting with multiple victims.

Police report that five males, a 16-year-old, two 17-year-olds, and two 18-year-olds, were found at the scene with apparent gunshot wounds.

The 16-year-old, Deanta Dorsey, was transported to an area hospital, where he later died. The other four students are being treated for their injuries.

This comes after the recent deadly shootings of a 7-year-old boy and a 17-year-old female, which outraged Baltimore residents and officials.

Earlier reports from local publications speculated that the students involved in the Jan. 4 incident were on a lunch break at the time of the incident, but Baltimore City Public Schools could not confirm this.

“We have a closed campus,” said Sherry Christian, media and public relations manager at Baltimore City Public Schools. “No student has permission to leave campus during the school day. We do not know if those students were not in school that day or if they snuck out of school to go to the shopping center.”

Christian said City Schools officials are still working to figure this out.

In a letter to parents, Karl E. Perry Sr., the principal of Edmondson-Westside High School, notified parents about the shooting and announced that all classes would be canceled on Jan. 5.

“We are saddened to share that five students at Edmondson-Westside High School were injured during a shooting at a nearby shopping center, resulting in the death of a student,” said Perry, in the letter. “Please note that we are ready and prepared to support our community as we work to heal after this tragedy.”

On Jan. 6, Edmondson-Westside High students returned for a half day to receive counseling and help with processing the violent attack, which took place during the school day.

Christian said City Schools will continue to work with all schools to canvas surrounding businesses not to serve school-age children during school hours because “when students are off campus, we can’t protect them.”

Monique Washington, president of the Edmondson Community Association, said the shooting was “very traumatic.”

“We just left the school in November of 2022 and asked them to keep the kids in the school because the shopping center has too much activity going on,” Washington told the AFRO. “I specifically told the school that something was going to happen. We had a meeting and it’s like our requests went unheard.”

“As a community member, to hear that we lost another youth, when we shouldn’t have during school hours– I don’t care how they spin this– everyone is accountable,” Washington continued. “There’s no reason why that should have happened– not during school hours.”

According to information posted to the City Schools website, the closing bell for Benjamin Franklin High School is at 2:50 p.m. The Friday shooting on Cambria Street also took place during the school day, less than an hour before the student body of roughly 755 students dismissed for the day.

Homicide detectives are urging anyone with information about the shooting in Edmondson Village Shopping Center to contact them at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7Lockup. Anyone with information about Friday’s incident should 410-396-2499 or call Metro Crime Stoppers.

*Spelling Correction: This article originally printed Deanta Dorsey’s first name with the spelling “Deonta.” The AFRO sincerely apologizes for this error.

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