Baltimore anti-violence outreach worker fatally shot
BALTIMORE (AP) — An outreach worker for a Baltimore anti-violence program was fatally shot Thursday, officials said. It is the second fatal shooting of a program employee this year.
Safe Streets Cherry Hill worker Kenyell Wilson, 44, drove himself to a hospital after he was shot and died a short time later, police said. Investigators have not determined where the shooting happened. His death comes less than a week after the Cherry Hill program celebrated a year without a homicide in its area.
“Safe Streets has a special place in my heart and I consider the Violence Interrupters who bravely serve this program as a part of my family. Tonight, our brother Kenyell Wilson became a victim of the gun violence he worked every day to prevent,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said in a statement. “I am deeply saddened and angered that ‘Benny’s’ life was taken in a weak cowardly act.”
Scott said he has directed the police commissioner to make an arrest in the case “a top priority.”
Safe Streets outreach workers mediate disputes in an effort to prevent violence. They also lead public education campaigns and work closely with faith-based organizers and community members, but not with police, to steer young people away from violence.
In January, another Safe Streets worker, Dante Barksdale, was shot and killed. An arrest was made in the case in May. The Safe Streets leader had served time in prison and was the nephew of Nathan Barksdale, whose crimes and run-ins with police inspired characters and story lines in the HBO series “The Wire.”