Judge calls teen suspect in Brooklyn mass shooting case 'danger,' attorney says alleged gun was 'toy'
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Judge calls teen suspect in Brooklyn mass shooting case 'danger,' attorney says alleged gun was 'toy'

May 25, 2023

By Mike Hellgren

Updated on: July 10, 2023 / 7:32 PM / CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE - A judge ordered the 17-year-old suspect charged in connection with the Brooklyn Homes mass shooting held without bail and agreed with the prosecution assessment that he poses an "extreme danger to the community."

The teenager is facing gun-related charges and prosecutors have not alleged that he shot anyone.

"He's certainly not violent. On his record, he has no prior criminal anything. He hasn't even gotten a jaywalking ticket," said the teen's defense attorney Michael Clinkscale. "The police clearly do not have the weapon as you heard what the judge said in court. It's going to be a very significant challenge to even determine that this young man even had possession of a gun."

Attorney says his client was wounded in the Brooklyn shooting and promises a vigorous defense. @wjz pic.twitter.com/GWfs5d4YJf

He noted the teen is being held in a youth detention facility and said he lives close to Brooklyn Homes with his mother. "He's a good kid. He likes to sing and rap," Clinkscale told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren outside court.

His said his client was captured on a video with widely circulated in social media with what police said was an assault weapon. Clinkscale said what is seen in his client's backpack is a toy.

"They are holding him for gun charges when we allege what this young man has was an Orbeez gun. An Orbeez gun is a toy," the attorney said.

Orbeez are water bead pellets. There had been recent cases of people shooting them at strangers as part of a TikTok challenge, leading to warnings from local police.

Clickscale claimed police have not recovered any weapon connected to his client and said the teen was shot himself and dropped the Orbeez gun.

"Shot in the left lower leg. He was running away just like everyone else. Imagine if someone started shooting, we'd all run," Clinkscale told WJZ. "In that video, whatever it was that he was toying around with, you don't see a single person looking afraid and running around, but the minute a gun actually did come into existence, they dispersed. We don't know what time that video was taken of him with the bag. We don't know if it was minutes before, hours before—and neither do the police."

Police said 28 were injured and two killed in the July second mass shooting.

Both the mayor and the governor weighed in on the ongoing investigation Monday.

"We're continuing to go through every single thing, and we're making charges as we track down every single lead," Mayor Brandon Scott said at an unrelated news conference.

He characterized the investigation as "pretty far along."

"What we're not going to do is give out any information in the press that those who may be looking for it might see themselves. We're going to be responsible with that information," the mayor said.

He said state and federal partners were continuing to assist BPD and urged people to come forward with tips.

"They are handling this with the utmost urgency, and they will bring these folks to justice," Scott said.

Governor Wes Moore told reporters a special session would not be held to address violence.

Moore said, "That manhunt going on right now is real, and we plan on holding people to account for their actions."

There is still a $28,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the mass shooting. Two people died: 20-year-old Kylis Fagbemi and 18-year-old Aaliyah Gonzalez.

Increased $28k reward in South Baltimore mass shooting @wjz pic.twitter.com/9dCvvhgHZZ

Nineteen of the victims were treated at MedStar Harbor Hospital where six members of the medical team detailed to WJZ their efforts to save lives.

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WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren came to WJZ in the spring of 2004. Solid reporting credentials and a reputation for breaking important news stories have characterized Mike's work. Mike holds a B.S. degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and grew up partly in both Chicago and Louisiana.

First published on July 10, 2023 / 3:46 PM

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