BALTIMORE—A grand jury has indicted a Baltimore teen and his parents on allegations they brought a gun to a high school campus in October and beat up a student shortly before classes were to start, prompting a shootout that left three young people wounded, city prosecutors said Tuesday.
Baltimore State’s Attorney Ivan Bates announced the charges at a news conference Tuesday morning. He questioned how the city is supposed to reduce youth violence if parents are active participants.
“As a parent, it is absolutely mindblowing to read the allegations in this indictment, where a child’s guardians facilitate in settling a schoolyard dispute with violence,” he said. “Hear me clear, parents, if you have a child, you must also be responsible for your children’s actions.”
William Dredden, 40, and Tiffany Harrison, 37, are both charged with over a dozen counts, including first-degree assault, illegally transporting a handgun, and conspiracy to commit attempted first-degree murder.
Their 15-year-old son, whom officials said was indicted in adult court, hasn’t been identified because he’s a minor.
A spokesperson for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender said she was unsure whether the office had been appointed to represent the defendants and declined to comment so early in the case.
The indictment accuses Mr. Dredden and Ms. Harrison of driving their son to Carver Vocational Technical High School the morning of Oct. 27 and helping him attack a student outside the school by “striking him repeatedly with a handgun and their fists as he waited for his classes to begin.”
As the three were leaving the area after the attack, the son started shooting, leaving two other students injured in gunfire, prosecutors alleged. One of the gunshot victims allegedly fired back at the 15-year-old, who was also injured, Mr. Bates said. He said most of the encounter was captured on surveillance cameras.
At least two other people involved in the dispute are also facing charges, but Mr. Bates said he couldn’t release specifics because some cases are proceeding in juvenile court. He also declined to say what the fight was about.
Mr. Bates said he wanted the focus to be on Mr. Dredden and Ms. Harrison’s participation in the violence.
He said surveillance video shows them and their son returning to their SUV after the shooting and driving the short distance back to Ms. Harrison’s house, where she went inside and changed clothes while Mr. Dredden called 911. Ms. Harrison then accompanied her son in the ambulance and Mr. Dredden removed a red sweatshirt he had been wearing, according to the indictment.
“We need parents to be part of the solution, not the problem,” Mr. Bates said.