It took 15 years for a bullet to kill Keith Edward Spriggs, and another six months for his death to register as a city homicide.
Spriggs was shot in the back on Oct. 20, 1997 while walking near the 2700 block of Spelman Road. He was just 15 at the time, and was hospitalized with injuries to his spinal cord, police said.
No one was ever arrested in connection with the shooting, and Spriggs was apparently discharged and released from the hospital - relatives couldn't be reached Tuesday, but court records showed he'd picked up a handful of loitering-related cases years ago.
But somewhere along the way, the bullet caught up to Spriggs, who died on Dec. 1, 2012 due to complications from his injury. The medical examiner didn't issue a formal ruling until May 9, and city homicide detectives added his death to the city tally on Tuesday.
Spriggs, a shooting victim from 1997, is now the 93rd homicide victim of 2013.
Each year, a handful of similar cases are added to the city homicide total - there were seven such cases last year - including some where suspects have already been charged and convicted. It's further evidence that while hundreds of people survive shootings in Baltimore each year, they are not necessarily out of the woods.