A Safe Streets Cherry Hill outreach worker died Thursday afternoon at MedStar Harbor Hospital after being shot, police reported.

The incident comes one week after Safe Streets Cherry Hill celebrated one full year without any homicides in their target area. A killing did occur in Cherry Hill, but outside of that target area, during that year period.

Kenyell Wilson, 44, drove himself to Harbor Hospital in Cherry Hill, where he was treated for gunshot sounds.

Officers at about 4:41 p.m. Thursday responded to a call that a shooting victim — Wilson — had arrived at the hospital. Wilson died “a short time later,” police said.

Police have not determined where the shooting of Wilson occurred.

Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 410-396-2100. They can also remain anonymous by calling Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

Wilson, who went by the nickname “Benny,” was an outreach worker with Safe Streets, the city’s public health campaign to prevent and interrupt violence.

Mayor Brandon Scott said he considers the Safe Streets violence interrupters, including Wilson, a part of his family.

“Our brother Kenyell Wilson became a victim of the gun violence he worked every day to prevent,” Scott said in a statement. “I am deeply saddened and angered that “Benny’s” life was taken in a weak cowardly act.”

Shantay Jackson, director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE), which helps oversee the Safe Streets initiative, said in a statement that the “MONSE and extended Safe Streets family are devastated by this senseless loss of life.”

Like many Safe Streets workers, Wilson had been working to reduce violence in Cherry Hill after being involved in such violence at one time, Jackson said.

“As someone who turned their life around to do the work of curing Cherry Hill of violence, Benny epitomized redemption,” she said. “While he has transitioned physically, his light will never leave us and it guides us as we continue the critical work of interrupting violence in our neighborhoods.”

Scott said he has instructed Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison to prioritize “apprehending the individual or individuals responsible for taking the life of one of our prime examples of changing your life.”

Scott added that the shooting has not deterred his administration from supporting and investing in Safe Streets and other community-based violence interventions, which “will continue to be central to my comprehensive strategy to reduce violence in Baltimore.”

Dante Barksdale, a Safe Streets leader, was also shot and killed in January outside of the Douglass Homes housing project in East Baltimore.

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at marcus@baltimorefishbowl.com...