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Gunfire Erupts at Morgan State University’s Homecoming Celebration as the U.S. Surpasses More Than 100 Incidents of Gun Violence on School Grounds 

October 4, 2023

BALTIMORE, Md. – The Maryland chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statements in response to five people being shot and wounded at Morgan State University, a historically Black university, during their coronation, marking the beginning of their homecoming. With details still emerging, reports show that gunfire erupted on the Northeast Baltimore campus shortly before 9:30 p.m. yesterday, sending students running for cover. Five people, four of them students, were shot and wounded, according to Police Commissioner Richard Worley. 

Homecoming has long had a special meaning for alumni and students of Morgan State, with many likening it to a family reunion at the HBCU. This is not the first time a special celebration at the university has been marred by gunfire – in October last year, a student was shot during a homecoming party outside the university’s student center. And in October 2021, a student was shot during a fight on campus amid the homecoming celebrations.

“Homecoming is a time for Morgan State students to come together as a community and celebrate the historic legacy of our university, so to have this moment ripped from us by gunfire ringing out hurts tenfold,” said Denise White Scott, a junior at Morgan State University and volunteer with Students Demand Action. “This is the third year in a row our campus has been struck by a senseless act of violence during homecoming week. Generations of racial injustice have forced Black youth to bear the brunt of our country’s gun violence epidemic and we can’t talk about this crisis without addressing how it disproportionately impacts us. None of us deserve to live or die like this.” 

“Today, our hearts ache for the Morgan State community and everyone across our city. This is yet another incident in the long line of campus shootings that have impacted students, families, and communities all across our country. This horrific act of violence is a sickening reminder of how commonplace these incidents have become. We must end the epidemic of gun violence in our communities once and for all, but we cannot do that alone,” said Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott, Co-Chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. In Baltimore, we’re taking thousands of illegal guns off the street, implementing a comprehensive public-health-informed violence reduction strategy, and holding those who pull the trigger accountable — but we must address the nationwide proliferation of guns in the hands of those who should not have them. We need the partnership of every single level of government to get it done and protect our communities.” 

“I know the entire Morgan State University community is united in our heartbreak and resilience,” said “Dr. Mama” Deborah Pierce-Fakunle, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action, survivor of gun violence, and Morgan State alumnae whose son is currently a faculty member at Morgan State. “Only in America do we allow guns to constantly turn moments of happiness into terror and pain. I pray for those who were wounded, for those who were living in fear for their lives, and for all of us who care so deeply about this beautiful community.”

Black Americans are nearly three times more likely than white Americans to die by guns, and 12 times more likely to die by gun homicide. Black Americans are also nearly three times more likely to be shot and killed by police, than white Americans. Time and time again, Black people in America bear the weight of our nation’s gun violence crisis.

A new analysis from Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund shows that this week, the United States has surpassed more than 100 incidents of gun violence on school grounds in 2023. Since January, there have been 103 instances of gun violence on school grounds, in which 72 people have been shot and wounded and 30 others were shot and killed. 
In an average year in Maryland, 796 people die by guns and 1,363 people are wounded. Gun violence costs Maryland $10.5 billion each year. Firearm injuries are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Maryland. More information on gun violence in Maryland is available here.

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