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Police, family seek justice for slain student - abc27 WHTM

Police, family seek justice for slain student

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Theodore Rooks raked leaves around the burning candles and balloons placed in memory of his grandson, Hauson Baltimore-Greene Jr.

Choking back tears, Rooks repeated, "they took my baby" as he tried to tidy up the spot where the Steel-High senior died Saturday night.

"He brought sunshine to everybody he was around," Rooks said. "He loved everybody."

Harrisburg Police Chief Tom Carter said likely witnesses to the fatal shooting are not cooperating with investigators. He expressed frustration over what he described as senseless gun violence.

Police said Baltimore-Greene was shot on the porch of 30 N. 16th Street while entering a party around 10 p.m. and died at a hospital.

Ta'Nea Washington said her cousin's death may be the last straw when it comes to living in the city.

"They really need to stop. It's getting out of control," she said. "I don't event want to live in Harrisburg no more. I'm ready to not be here."

Washington and Rooks both expressed an eagerness for new Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse to take action. Papenfuse participated at different events to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, including a cleanup inside city hall.

Papenfuse said he reached out the family of Baltimore-Greene and expressed his condolences. The mayor also said he vowed to do everything in his power to curb gun violence.

"It's a tragedy," Papenfuse said. "We've got to all come together to stop the violence. I think there would be no more fitting legacy for Dr. King than remembering non-violence is the core of all that we do."

Papenfuse said with the swearing in of eight officers last week, and another dozen on the way, the city will have 20 additional cops on the beat. He also explained each officer is now required to have "meaningful engagement" with the community at least once during their shift.

Papenfuse said the philosophy behind the requirement is to breed a stronger relationship between police officers and community members. The mayor said he wants to rid of the stipulation that its police versus residents.

Papenfuse also said his economic development plan would help boost job opportunities and reduce crime by offering other avenues away from crime. Papenfuse noted that Baltimore-Greene could have been a productive member of the local economy, but his young life was a taken too soon.

Friends and family said Baltimore-Greene played football and basketball for the Steamrollers. He was also an aspiring rap artist.

Basketball Coach Tigh Savercool told several stories about the young man's character. Most notably, many said his trademark was his friendly and helpful personality.

"He was a very kind-hearted kid that would do anything for anyone if you would ask," Savercool said.

But now, those who knew Baltimore-Greene aren't only asking, they are pleading with anyone who might have information to come forward.

"You know who you are. Do the right thing," said Rooks. "You took love away from everybody, and that wasn't fair to us."

 

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