Young female murder suspect fired shot after robbery victim laughed, police say
[UPDATE: Here's the story that ran in print today, including interviews with the suspect's family members, who say she had an uncontrollable temper and needed help.]
The 14-year-old girl charged with fatally shooting a man during a robbery attempt earlier this month fired her gun when one of the victims laughed at her because she was so young, according to police charging documents filed this morning.
Prosecutors, in seeking the young suspect be held without bail, described Arteesha Holt (left) in court papers as a "flight risk and a danger to the citizens of Baltimore." The young girl is charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery, using a handgun in the commission of a violent crime and several other offenses.
Police have said the girl may have tried to rob two men on Linwood Avenue on Aug. 13 as part of a gang initiation. The victims were among three Latino men killed in recent weeks in a spate of crimes that has shaken the community in Southeast Baltimore.
A rally was held in Patterson Park on Tuesday following the beating death of 51-year-old Hondouran Martin Reyes. The suspect, a mentally disturbed man, told police he beat Reyes with a board because he hated Mexicans. Police have classified that killing as a hate crime.
The Aug. 13 shooting involving the 14-year-old suspect occurred in the 100 block of North Linwood Ave. about 9:40 p.m. Police said an officer was flagged down by Wilmer Bonilla, 26, who needed help. The officer found Jose Rodolfo Gonzalez-Coreas, 43, lying on the front steps of a rowhouse with a gunshot wound to the head.
Bonilla told police, according to the charging documents, that he and Gonzalez were sitting on the steps when a young girl armed with a silver handgun approached and announced a robbery. "Because of the age of the suspect the victims began to laugh at which time the suspect fired one shot grazing the victim Wilmer Bonilla's head and striking Jose Coreas in the center of his forehead."
The victim was rushed to Johns Hopkins Hospital and was on Aug. 17 was listed as brain dead. Police said he was kept alive so that doctors could harvest his organs. He was pronounced dead Aug. 20 at 5 a.m.
Police said they identified Holt as a suspect because she had told several friends and bystanders about her involvement and that her 18-year-old brother had helped her escape from the neighborhood. But she gave the gun to her brother, according to police, and he kept the .32 caliber revolver in a black bag.
Police said the brother showed the gun to people and later was seen by police officers carrying the bag. Officer stopped the brother and arrested him on a handgun violation. They said investigators later linked the gun to the shooting.
Prosecutors said in court documents that the young Holt has a pending juvenile burglary case.