CCBC Catonsville teammates, coaches remember murdered teammate Devin Cook

BALTIMORE - Justin Brown said he and his teammates were feeling down following a summer league lacrosse game on July 31.

Brown said that mindset quickly changed when one of those teammates -- Devin Cook -- spoke to them.

"Devin reminded us that we were all brothers and this was experience we could learn and grow from," Brown said. "He really lifted our spirits just like he always did."

An hour later, Cook was dead.

Cook was gunned down during a violent week in Baltimore in which six people were killed. He was the 118th homicide of the year in Baltimore; a year in which 121 people were killed through Aug. 6.

According to Baltimore City police, at approximately 11:44 p.m., officers were called to the 4700 Block of Wilern Ave for a reported shooting.

Once there, officers found Cook suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to his torso.  He was pronounced dead on scene by paramedics at 12:08 a.m. Police said another person was shot during the incident, and was transported to a local hospital.

Police said the suspected gunman fled the scene after the shooting.

Those who knew Cook said they have no idea who would want to kill him. The National Academy graduate from Baltimore City was one of the top players for the Community College of Baltimore County Catonsville lacrosse team, where he scored 13 goals and had 9 assists.

He also worked full time at the Baltimore Zoo while playing lacrosse and taking a full slate of college classes.

"He was a leader on the team and in the school," said Bill Zopp, CCBC Catonsville's coach last season. "He didn't let his environment define him. He worked to make those around him better and cared about his teammates."

Among those teammates was James Garrett.

A Frederick Douglass graduate, Garrett first met Cook while playing for the same summer league lacrosse team. Both were determined to help grow the game of lacrosse in Baltimore City; an area where few have the resources to learn to play the sport.

"Devin was a really good guy who never ran on the streets," Garrett said. "He was just living his dream of going to college and playing lacrosse. I know he had the ability to play at a Division I school one day.
"His death really saddens me because I knew Devin could go far in life. He had that drive to succeed. Then it was all taken away in an instant."

Louis Laoure was also saddened by Cook's death. Laoure, a Florida native, was another CCBC teammate of Cook's. He said when he felt homesick and wasn't sure he wanted to stay in school, it was Cook who kept him motivated.

"Devin was well-respected not just among the lacrosse players, but by all of the student-athletes at CCBC," Laoure said. "He reminded me that I was here for a reason and with a purpose. He set the example for all of us and I know he will be missed." 

** A public viewing for Devin Cook is set for 3 to 7 p.m. Aug. 7 at Howell Funeral Home, located at 4600 Liberty Heights Ave. in Baltimore. His funeral is set for 10 a.m. Aug. 8 at Browns Memorial Baptist Church, located at 3215 W. Belvedere Ave. in Baltimore.

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