Two teenagers were shot near Sandalwood Elementary School in Essex, Maryland, Friday evening just after 8 PM, WBAL-TV (NBC affiliate) reports.
Both shooting victims were under 18 and were transported to a local hospital, where they remained in critical condition as of Saturday afternoon. Police say charges are pending, and they are not seeking additional suspects in the shooting.
Both were shot after a verbal argument escalated in front of the school and moved to a nearby convenience store, according to a report on WMAR-TV (ABC affiliate).
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott has instituted a citywide curfew to keep young people safe, but the shooting in Essex occurred before the curfew. As the curfew started recently, it’s still too early to tell if it will effectively keep young people safe.
Details of the curfew, reported by WJZ-TV (CBS affiliate):
- Those under 14 must be inside by 9 PM.
- Those ages 14–16 must be inside by 10 PM on school nights, 11 PM on weekends.
- Curfew runs until the last Sunday in August.
- Parents face fines of up to $500.
- Children out after hours will be brought to one of two Youth Connection Centers in Baltimore City.
Other Maryland cities also have curfews, particularly in the summer, such as Westminster in Carroll County, just to the west of Baltimore County, where Essex is located, according to a report by Megan Park in the student newspaper at the Gateway School / Crossroads Middle in that city.
“Don’t stay outside past the town curfew,” she advises her fellow students. “Curfew is in place for a reason: to keep you and your friends safe. It could lead to you being abducted. You should stay indoors past curfew because it keeps you safe so you don’t get kidnapped or hurt.”