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Baltimore Police charge Lansdowne man with firing errant shot in gunbattle that hit 10-year-old girl

Kaelin Washington, 10, was shot in the chest in February by what police called a stray bullet fired during a gun fight far down her block. Today she's back in school and recovering, and the man police say fired the shot is in jail.
Kaelin Washington, 10, was shot in the chest in February by what police called a stray bullet fired during a gun fight far down her block. Today she's back in school and recovering, and the man police say fired the shot is in jail. (Courtesy of Jasmine Ramsey)

Baltimore Police have arrested and charged another man from February’s brazen westside gunbattle, saying they now have the person who fired the reckless shot that hit a 10-year-old girl down the block.

Keon J. Hyman, 20, of Lansdowne remains held without bail on 19 charges, including six counts of attempted murder. Court records did not list his attorney, and he’s scheduled for a preliminary hearing in May.

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Hyman was back on the streets after attempted-murder charges were dropped against him four months earlier in Baltimore County. Deputy State’s Attorney for Baltimore County John Cox said Hyman was one of three people charged with shooting and wounding a person in December 2019. The two co-defendants struck plea deals, but prosecutors dropped charges against Hyman.

“We didn’t have enough evidence on Hyman to be able to prove anything,” Cox said.

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On Friday, a woman picked up a phone listed to Hyman and said she’s his wife.

“He’s innocent,” the woman said of the latest charges. She declined to comment further.

Meanwhile, last month, police arrested and charged Tirik Trotman, 27, of West Baltimore in the shooting. He’s charged with 29 counts, including attempted murder, reckless endangerment, gun charges and assault.

The gunshots rang out on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the busy intersection of Reisterstown Road and North Fulton Avenue, sending customers and cashiers at nearby liquor stores and carry-outs ducking for cover. Two men were wounded, and the girl made it home with a gunshot wound to her chest.

“If your homeboy would go and shoot a 10-year-old baby, you need to recheck your friends,” he said, standing before the yellow tape of the crime scene. “Real men don’t do that.”

Police watched footage from the surveillance cameras in the block. In the charging documents for Hyman, they write that the video shows two groups of men — one with seven people, one with four — face off outside the Red Fox Lounge. Officer Gregory Price wrote that at least five of these men carried guns. The groups split up, with Hyman and Trotman walking away, then turning back, the officer wrote.

“Mr. Trotman and Mr. Hyman suddenly raised their guns, took aim, and began to fire,” the officer wrote.

Cameras captured two men from the rival group falling to the ground. One of them, Nathaniel Diggs, was shot in the neck and wounded. He faces gun charges. Two others fired back as they ran away. Just then, 10-year-old Kaelin Washington stepped out of the corner store where she had gone to buy Cheetos — into the line of fire.

“[Kaelin] could be seen jerking her head back and then fleeing,” the officer wrote. “Based on the northbound direction of the gun fire, your writer believes that one of the bullets fired by Mr. Hyman traveled unimpeded from the 2200 block of N. Fulton Ave. up into the 2300 block of N. Fulton Ave., where it struck Kaelin Washington as she exited the store.”

The bullet narrowly missed her major arteries, but punctured her lung and fractured her rib. She made it to her godmother’s house nearby; they called for help.

Nearly two months later, Kaelin has made almost a full recovery, her mother said. The girl’s back at school — albeit virtual classes — and cleared by her doctor for light activity. She just gets winded walking sometimes.

“You wouldn’t even be able to tell that she went through what she went though,” said her mother, Jasmine Ramsey.

Still, some emotional trauma lingers, her mother said. When Kaelin hears a sudden loud noise, like the bang of gunfire, she panics.

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