Baltimore junior featherweight boxer Ernest Hall killed in shooting
Ernest Hall was deep in training camp for a fight next weekend which had the potential to get his career back on the right track. He never made it to the ring however, having been gunned down in the early morning hours on Thursday in his native Baltimore.
Police responded to a call at 12:05 a.m. to find six people who were shot, according to police sources, on the 2800 block of Edmondson Avenue. The police report did not identify Hall in the shooting, but friends and family on social media are mourning the passing of the 32-year-old Hall, a father of three. One other victim was listed in critical condition, while the others are in stable condition. Hall was pronounced dead on the scene.
Police sources say they reviewing video footage of the incident and that the investigation is ongoing.
Hall, whose final record is 4-2-1 (1 knockout), was scheduled to fight John Leonardo (9-1-1, 4 KOs) in a 6-round bout on April 1 in Paramus, N.J.
Hall, whose nickname was Lighting Bug, competed in the 2016 Olympic trials, where he registered a win over Rolando “Rolly” Romero, before turning pro in 2017. Hall last fought in October, drawing with Jaqeem Hutcherson, whom he had previously beaten by majority decision.
Charles Harper, who had trained Hall for the past nine years, said Hall was a beloved figure in his community and the gym he owned, Lightning Quick Fit Boxing Gym, which he opened in 2020. He remembers “Buggy E” as someone whose outlet in life was boxing, and was eager to share his knowledge and experience with others.
“Ernie could brighten your day with a smile or by saying one of his crazy sayings. Ernie would give you the shirt off his back or last bite of food. Ernie was just a good guy, and what happened to him he didn’t deserve it. It was too soon,” said “Coach Chuck” Harper.
Leonardo, who plans to remain on the card next Saturday, says his passing is a reminder that life can end at any moment.
“It’s sad because even though we didn’t get to fight and I didn’t get to meet him, I heard from other fighters that I know that spar with him and have fought him say that he was a great guy,” said Leonardo.
Jake Smith, who once managed him and promoted his first three bouts, was saddened by the passing of the person who ran his gym, Baltimore Boxing, for seven years.
“The kids and everyone else loved him, he was truly a people person,” said Smith. “God definitely needed him.”
Anyone with information about the shooting can contact Baltimore Police homicide detectives at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7Lockup.
Ryan Songalia has written for ESPN, the New York Daily News, Rappler and The Guardian, and is part of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism Class of 2020. He can be reached at [email protected].