The Frederick, Maryland, Police Department has targeted 77 suspected gang members and arrested at least 24 of them, in a citywide crackdown on two warring groups, according to a review of police reports by the News4 I-Team.
The agency has been trying to uproot the pair of suspected gangs in the wake of a shooting outside the city’s Frederick High School in February 2015.
The shooting, which occurred outside a junior varsity boys basketball game between rivals Frederick High and Thomas Johnson High, wounded two teenagers and forced an hours-long lockdown of the school building. A two-month police investigation revealed a fight between two neighborhood gangs, referred to as “Lucas Village” and “Carver” by Frederick City Police, preceded the shooting. Surveillance footage from inside Frederick High School, obtained by the I-Team, shows the two victims collapse to the floor from their wounds.
Frederick Police Chief Ed Hargis said he launched a violent crime crackdown to stop the gang battles shortly after taking his position in summer 2015, five months after the high school shooting. Hargis said the battle between “Lucas Village” and “Carver” was contributing to a series of crimes and assaults citywide.
“It’s a generational fight,” Hargis said. “They’re going back and forth on each other.”
City police records show officers have arrested at least 24 suspected members of “Lucas Village” and “Carver” in the past year.
The dispute originated 15 years ago between young residents of the Carver housing complex and the former Lucas Village housing complex, Hargis said, but the battle has since spread far and wide in Frederick.
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“I don't think the people involved in this today could tell you what originally started the problem in the early 2000s or before then," he said.
In at least one recent incident, city police arrested four teenagers in the shooting of another teen in Frederick’s Hillcrest neighborhood. Hargis linked the case to the gang war.
Two men pleaded guilty for their role in the 2015 shootings at Frederick High School. Each was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.
Robert Rollins, scorekeeper of the basketball game at which the shootings occurred, helped medics treat one of the two victims. The surveillance footage obtained by the I-Team shows Rollins escorting a victim away from people running through the crowded hallways. Rollins said the incident is evidence police needed to undertake a crackdown on the two gangs.
“I don’t understand the violence these kids are showing,” he said.
Reported by Scott MacFarlane, produced by Ashley Brown, and shot and edited by Jeff Piper.