An anti-shooting activist and former gang member who allegedly shot 20 people in his youth was shot himself on the streets of Baltimore Wednesday.
Tryree Moorehead, who can typically be found spray painting the phrase “No Shoot Zone” in hundreds of places across the Baltimore area, was shot in an incident just around the corner from his home.
Speaking to reporters from WJZ-TV, Moorehead said, “I was shot three times. Bullet went through my jaw and my neck and one is still in my back.” The peculiar interview unfolded as Moorehead arrived home after being hospitalized, still wearing scrubs and a hairnet and even sporting a hep-lock IV on his hand. He showed police officers a fresh wound on his neck.
Moorehead told the WJZ-TV reporters that he estimates he shot approximately 20 people when he was 13 to 15 years old. That came to an end after at age 15 he had a shootout with Baltimore Police, was captured and subsequently served 18 years in prison after confessing to attempted murder.
The 46-year-old ex-convict told WJZ-TV reporters that he believes by virtue of his background that he can establish a rapport with the gang shooters. He also described a recent incident in May in which over 60 rounds were fired on Rose Street, wounding three people and killing one.
“I actually heard every shot and when I came around here, it was still smoking,” he said. Months later, Moorehead was shot on the very same street.
His activism can be described as unorthodox. His notion, according to WBFF-TV, is that places where shootings have occurred are sacred spaces. He believes declaring those areas as”no shoot zones” can ensure that no further killing happen there. He has even suggested the solution to shootings is to pay murderers to stop killing people.
“I can relate to the shooters, guess what they want? They want money,” he told WBFF.
“See, I go straight to the shooters. That’s who my rapport is with. My rapport is with the shooters,” Moorehead said to WJZ. “I can look them in the eyes and say, ‘Homie, I was shooting, too.’ But, what I didn’t have was a me back then.
“So the idea is to say No Shoot Zone and the shooters listen,” Moorehead claimed. He explained the exceptions to his rule: “Gang member against gang member? Drug dealer against drug dealer? There’s not much I can do. That’s why there’s a lot of shootings I don’t put zones up for.”
“I’ve talked to these people. I’ve seen the shooters, it’s a small city, I know who the hustlers are,” he told WBFF.
Not all accounts of Moorehead agree. The activist’s neighbors painted a somewhat different picture of him. Talking to a WJZ-TV reporter, they described him as “very aggressive,” even saying that he “regularly antagonized” them. Some shared footage of him brandishing an ax and sharpening it on the sidewalk.
Justin Fenton of the Baltimore Banner tweeted that criminal justice reporter Ben Conark “was at the scene earlier and residents told him the victim had been threatening people in recent weeks. Case search shows he’s been arrested several times over the past couple years for disorderly conduct, assault, property destruction..”
Submit a Correction →
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.