Boy, 10, is killed by bullet during gunbattle in street Unintended victim was playing ball


A 10-year-old child shot in a drive-by shooting in East Baltimore last night, the second such incident in as many days, died at Johns Hopkins Hospital without gaining consciousness, police said.

Tarius Johnson of the 1700 block of E. Oliver St. was shot once in the head about 6 p.m. in a gunbattle between two men in a black Ford Escort and another man on the northeast corner of Oliver and Regester streets, police said. He died at Johns Hopkins Hospital at 8:35 p.m., becoming the 298th murder victim of 1993, compared to 279 at this time last year, police said.

Homicide Detective Christopher Graul said Tarius and some friends were playing football in the street when the gunbattle broke out.

"As far as we can tell, the shooting of the victim was not intentional," Detective Graul said.

The Escort fled south on Regester Street, police said, adding that they have no descriptions of the men.

Police last night recovered eight spent shell casings from a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun.

On Wednesday, Tia Lipscomb, 10, was shot in the back and a 17-year-old boy was hit in the left leg in a drive-by shooting at Walbrook Junction in West Baltimore. She is in fair condition at Sinai Hospital and is expected to gone home today; he was treated and released.

Witnesses, who said that at least 10 shots were fired in yesterday's shooting, said they came out of their houses to find Tarius lying on the ground at the intersection of Regester and Oliver streets.

"There had to be at least nine to 10 shots," said a man who described himself only as a friend of Tarius' family. "I could hear the 'pop-pop-pop' sounds one after the other."

Tarius' aunt, who would only give her first name of Lorraine, raged at those who did the shooting.

"All they got them guns for is . . . to be a big man with the gun. . . . Children dying so they can be a big man with the gun," she said. "If you don't give a damn about your brother, think about your brother's son."

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