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Three shootings in 48 hours in Baltimore County

Gunmen target 21-year-old woman in Middle River
Posted at 4:30 PM, May 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-29 09:23:24-04

MIDDLE RIVER, Md. — He was bringing his dogs back into the house in the wee hours of the morning Saturday when James Frey froze in his tracks.

"I hear gunshots. It was like 'Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow!'” said Frey, “and then as soon as I got the door almost closed, I heard, 'Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow!', and I heard somebody yell, 'Help me!'"

The cry came from a 21-year-old woman that was hopping fences, scrambling from one backyard to the next as she tried to escape the gunfire.

"I woke up out of a dead sleep hearing this girl screaming, and there was nothing I could do,” said Bill Venzke, “I wanted to. I wanted to help her out in some way and so did my wife, and I had to keep my wife under cover, because I woke up out of a panic, you know, because of gunfire."

The victim crawled between homes from the alley to a front yard along the unit block of Kingston Road suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

"She was shot four times – once in the chest, I think twice in the legs and once in the wrist,” said Frey, “They said that one shell went through her wrist and blew the back of her wrist out."

It proved to be just the first of three shootings in less than 48 hours in Baltimore County leading up to Memorial Day.

"Then, the one in Woodlawn precinct Saturday night, and then the Dundalk precinct Sunday night," said Officer Jennifer Peach with the Baltimore County Police Department, "For Baltimore County, it is irregular for us to have three shootings in one weekend. That doesn't normally happen."

But unlike the other shootings involving male victims who were clearly targeted, police say the shooting in Middle River may have been a case of mistaken identity, although there's no mistaking the level of violence involved.

"I came out to see if my car was hit,” said Venzke, "and I saw the hole in the car."

"They were hiding behind my neighbor’s car over here, and it was unreal,” added Frey, “I've never seen anything like it. I was scared."