Boy, 2, wounded by gunfire when shots are fired into vehicle
BALTIMORE | An act of road rage left a 2-year-old boy with a gunshot wound in the stomach Saturday in Baltimore, a shooting emblematic of the city’s entrenched gun culture, which has already claimed more than 260 lives and left over 620 people injured this year.
In a news conference hours after the shooting, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said the boy was in “somewhat stable condition” and was expected to survive. Harrison said the suspect remained at large and he asked the man to voluntarily surrender to authorities.
“Whoever you are, please turn yourself in. You shot a child. Whoever you thought you were shooting at, you didn’t shoot. You shot a child,” Harrison said. He added he knows many in the community share his “outrage” and asked for their help in identifying the suspect, whom he described as a heavy set black man with dreadlocks.
Police believe the boy was inside a vehicle that honked the horn several times at vehicles that would not move when the light turned green at an intersection in central Baltimore. The vehicle with the boy then drove around the stopped vehicles and turned the corner. Harrison said a gray or silver minivan then caught up to the vehicle with the child and the driver fired his weapon.
Authorities were notified when the boy was taken to a hospital. Officers had responded to the area where the shooting happened around 12:30 a.m. after receiving an alert from the city’s automatic gunshot detection system, but they did not locate a victim or suspect.
Harrison said the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $15,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. He said authorities are using “every tool in the toolbox” to identify the suspect.
Baltimore, a once-thriving American seaport, has undeniable drug and violent crime challenges. It saw some modest success in reducing its violent crime scourge in 2018, but still exceeded 300 annual homicides for the fourth year in a row. In 2017, the 342 homicides in the city of roughly 612,000 inhabitants yielded a punishing homicide rate of 56 per 100,000 people, a rate the FBI called well above that of any other large U.S. city.
Harrison said the boy’s shooting is an example of the city’s “culture of violence” in which people want to settle their own disputes.
“The decision to use the gun is not made when you use it; it is made when you walk away from home with it. You’ve decided that if I need it, I’ll use it,” he said. “This is another example of that. We have to overcome people deciding to carry guns because when you carry guns, you’ll use it when the time presents itself.”
Gunman opens fire at church wedding ceremony, 2 people shot
PELHAM, N.H. | A gunman opened fire at a wedding ceremony inside a New Hampshire church Saturday, shooting two people including the presiding bishop before guests tackled the shooter and pinned him to the ground until police arrived, authorities said.
Dale Holloway, 37, has been charged with first degree assault for shooting Stanley Choate, 75, in the chest at the New England Pentecostal church, according to the state’s attorney general office. A second person, Claire McMullen, 60, was shot in the arm. A third person, Mark Castiglione, 60, was struck in the head by an object. Choate, the presiding bishop at the wedding, is in serious condition at Tufts Medical Center in Boston while McMullen is in good condition at a local hospital. Castiglione was treated at a hospital and released.
Holloway is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Hillsborough County Superior Court. It was unclear if he is represented by an attorney.
Pelham’s Police Chief Joseph Roark said no fatalities were reported in the church shooting.
“This does not seem to be a random event, at least at this point,” Roark said during a news conference Saturday afternoon outside the police department.
Roark did not offer a motive for the shooting.
Police were called to the church shortly after 10 a.m. in Pelham, a town of about 13,000 on the border of Massachusetts. Pelham is nestled between Concord, New Hampshire’s capital, and Boston.
Roark said the church had just received active shooter training from his department within the last year. He didn’t know if people who subdued the shooter were trained the same way but “I think that is a standard that is being taught now to address the threat.”
A funeral was scheduled to be held at the church after the wedding for 60-year-old Luis Garcia. Garcia had been a minister at the church. He was shot and killed earlier this month and Brandon Castiglione, 24, has been charged in his murder and is jailed. It was unclear if the two shootings were related.
Sunday services at the church have been cancelled, according to the attorney general’s office. Crisis counselors will be available Sunday at Sherburne Hall community center in Pelham from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Man who shot transgender woman in U.S. illegally
DALLAS | Authorities said a Mexican national who committed a hate crime last month when he repeatedly shot a transgender woman in Dallas was in the country illegally after being deported in 2010.
Twenty-nine-year-old Domingo Ramirez-Cayente posted bond following the Sept. 20 shooting and was not required to wear an ankle monitor. Federal immigration officials tell The Dallas Morning News that it’s unclear where he can be found.
Police said Ramirez-Cayente admitted to shooting the 35-year-old transgender woman, who had six gunshot wounds. He was charged with aggravated assault and released from the Dallas County jail.
It’s unclear if Dallas officials were aware of his immigration status when he was released on bond after the shooting.
Ramirez-Cayente was apprehended near the border in 2010 after entering the U.S. illegally. He was returned to Mexico about a week later.
Man traveling 218 miles across south Georgia by wheelchair
SAVANNAH, Ga. | A Georgia man on a long trip across southern Georgia has set aside most of October so he can make the journey by wheelchair.
News outlets report Paul Rockwell recently embarked on a 218-mile road trip from Savannah to Plains. His goal is to move 10 miles each day and arrive in Plains in time to see former President Jimmy Carter teach Sunday school on Oct. 27.
News outlets report Rockwell is traveling across Georgia by wheelchair to raise awareness for the Emmaus House, a Savannah food shelter.
He was born with cerebral palsy, but that hasn’t stopped him from taking on challenges. Previously he’s competed in the Boston Marathon and walked the length of Georgia’s 100-mile coast.
— From AP reports