Case of a mysterious bullet found in student’s car door unresolved

Morgan State student Kendra Pinder left her car on campus when she traveled home for the weekend. When she returned, she discovered a 9 mm bullet hole through her car door.


Courtesy of Kendra Pinder

“I came out and looked at the door. And it just looked off because I’m like, why is there a hole in the door? I did not think it was a bullet hole at first because it just kind of felt like it was impossible for it to be,” Kendra Pinder said. 

Jordan D. Brown, Editor in Chief

Kendra Pinder, a sophomore strategic communication major, was excited to make her first adult purchase this January with a brand new car.

After saving up her money, Pinder bought a 2020 Toyota Corolla before returning to Morgan State University for the spring semester.

Two months later, her car was damaged on Morgan’s campus after a stray 9 mm bullet struck her car door.

On March 4, Pinder left Morgan’s campus with her friends and returned to her apartment later that evening.

As it was late at night, Pinder went straight to her apartment at the Thurgood Marshall Apartment Complex and prepared to travel home the next evening.

Pinder went home to Bowie, Md. on March 5 for the weekend and left her car parked in the complex’s parking lot. 

Videos of individuals fighting outside Thurgood Marshall Apartment and Rawlings Dining Hall circulated on social media the same weekend of the incident.

Pinder identified her car in one of the fighting videos as students huddled around the fight.

The car pictured matches Pinder’s car description, a white Toyota Corolla with paper tags. (Courtesy of @king__gregory)

Pinder said there was speculation among students that a shooting also occurred that weekend, but nothing was confirmed.

“It was a lot of ‘he say, she say’ going around campus about potential shootings that could have happened on Friday, by different people that live in different buildings in the area of Thurgood, including Blount Rawlings and Thurgood,” Pinder said.

According to Larry Jones, assistant vice president of public relations and communications, no shootings were reported on or around campus to the Morgan State University Police Department (MSUPD) the week of the incident.

However, Pinder noticed a large hole in her passenger car door when she returned to campus on March 7.

Pinder first saw the hole as she was exiting her car to go to class.

“I came out and looked at the door. And it just looked off because I’m like, why is there a hole in the door? I did not think it was a bullet hole at first because it just kind of felt like it was impossible for it to be,” Pinder said. 

She took her car to East Coast Collision, an auto body shop, the next morning to determine the damage to her car and was later informed a 9-millimeter bullet hole went through the metal of her door.

David Roberts, a service advisor at East Coast Collision, confirmed the damage to Pinder’s door was from a bullet.

Roberts said, “The hole in the top of the door and basically the bullet was still in the door so the only damage that we found was to the door itself.”

Before the mechanic shop could fix her door, Pinder was advised to file a case report to the university police department.

Pinder filed a report on March 7 to a residential assistant in her apartment complex that informed her the report would be filed with MSUPD, but the report was never filed.

According to Vernon Davis, Baltimore Police Department detective, the incident was not officially reported to MSUPD until March 9.

Pinder said the police department told her she waited too long after the incident to file a report and there was not much that could be done moving forward.

“The MSUPD said because I waited too long to report it, that it’s nothing that could be done,”

— Kendra Pinder

“Mind you I noticed the bullet hole on Monday. I got a service on Tuesday to make sure that the information was correct so that when I presented it to them on Wednesday, they had all the information they needed to build a case and investigate but instead of doing that, they said that it was nothing that they could do.

The date and location of the damage to Pinder’s car have yet to be determined, but MSUPD is investigating the matter.

“The MSUPD will continue to investigate the incident but as it stands there isn’t any definitive evidence indicating that this occurred on Morgan’s campus,” Jones said.

Although Pinder did not see the hole until the following Monday, her friend Makayla Higginbotham said she noticed the hole that Saturday. 

“I didn’t think it was a bullet hole. I thought like maybe she hit something and like it made a hole in the car. I didn’t know,” Higginbotham said.

As Higginbotham claims the hole was present on March 5, Pinder believes the bullet inserted into her car between Friday night and Saturday afternoon 

“My friend noticed it on Saturday, and she hadn’t told me because she thought that I had already knew about it. So, it was already there by the time I had left campus, but I was not aware of it until Monday,” Pinder said.

Several weeks have passed since the incident occurred, and Pinder is still left with many unanswered questions. The shift from purchasing her first car to suffering unknown bullet hole damage on her door was an unexpected shock for her.

“I was in shock pretty much because I just purchased the car about two months ago like it’s brand-new paper tags. I had just made my first payment on it. So, you know it was like I put all my money into it. So, for it to have been damaged that quickly it was kind of a shocker,” Pinder said.

As a result of the damages, Pinder was left to pay $1,573 for the repair expenses, but she did not receive any assistance from the university.

“It’s definitely a financial setback when it comes to all the things I wanted to do here and all the things that I wanted for my Morgan State experience, but at the end of the day—I would rather take care of the things I had now than to put more money into the school that doesn’t care about me, that’s really how I feel,” Pinder said.

Pinder is currently looking at other universities and academic programs to transfer to after her experience at Morgan. However, she would reconsider returning to the school if she felt safe on campus again.

“If I do come back, I would need a change of some kind of conversation to be had between me, faculty, staff, and MSUPD,” Pinder said. “Somebody needs to speak with me about what happened because it’s 100 percent completely unacceptable. And for me to come back, I need some kind of assurance that it won’t happen again.”

The Spokesman attempted to interview Lance Hatcher, police chief at Morgan, but he declined to speak on the record.