Defendant Escalated South Bond Street Fight Turned Shooting, Prosecutor Says

Baltimore Courthouse

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“I’m a man, so I stepped up.”

A Baltimore City prosecutor argued it was this sentiment that led attempted homicide defendant Reginald Allen to shoot and nearly kill another man during a party around the Inner Harbor in June 2022.

The 39-year-old man’s jury trial concluded with closing arguments on Sept. 21 before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey M. Geller.

On Sept. 22, the jury found Allen not guilty of attempted first and second-degree murder and attempted voluntary manslaughter. The defendant was found guilty of first-degree assault, firearm use in a felony or violent crime, firearm possession with a felony conviction, reckless endangerment, firing a gun in Baltimore City, illegal possession of ammunition and having a handgun on his person.

Allen was acquitted of having a gun within 100 yards of a park and having a gun within 100 yards of a committed crime.

A verdict was not rendered for the second-degree assault charge. Charges not sent to the jury included three counts of illegal possession of a firearm, two additional counts of firearm possession with a felony conviction and firearm and drug possession.

The defendant’s sentencing is currently scheduled for Nov. 1.

Allen, his girlfriend and his sister were among the partygoers at the gathering on the 900 block of South Bond Street on June 26, 2022, when the prosecutor said the defendant escalated what began as a disagreement.

The prosecutor explained that Allen’s girlfriend and sister had approached him and were angry about the victim’s being disrespectful. As the conversation grew heated, many people asked the victim to move along, but the defendant “got up in the victim’s face.”

Video surveillance footage of the incident showed a third party unsuccessfully attempt to deescalate the argument between Allen and the victim. The defendant is then seen pushing the victim, the prosecutor said, and reaching into his pants where Allen testified he kept his handgun.

“It was the defendant who came up to and in the face of [the victim],” the prosecutor exclaimed. The victim saw Allen’s weapon and “doesn’t make a move, doesn’t flinch, doesn’t do anything” as the defendant drew his gun.

Allen also fired a second time while the victim attempted to run away.

The prosecutor said the victim was in surgery for 14 hours for his injuries and “could’ve died.”

Isabel Lipman, Allen’s defense attorney, reminded jurors the victim was in possession of two firearms at the time of the incident, saying he was “armed to the teeth.” Her client was defending himself and others when he saw the victim reach into his bag and pull out a gun.

“[Allen] had no other option,” Lipman said, noting the victim was allegedly harassing the defendant’s sister.

Allen tried to address the situation beforehand, but the victim became agitated. This behavior only continued during the victim’s “erratic, non-credible and nonsensical” testimony, Lipman added. Allen responded by shooting the victim once in the shoulder and only raised his weapon a second time because he saw the victim raise his two guns.

The assistant state’s attorney said what unfolded does not meet defense counsel’s argument of self-defense. Under self-defense, the defendant must not be the aggressor or raise the fight to deadly force, believe he is in immediate danger and use no more force than what is necessary. Allen’s belief must have also been reasonable, the prosecutor said.

Following closing arguments, the jurors begin their deliberations.

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