Slain 16-year-old’s family home struck by bullets hours after family members praised arrest in case

The family home of the 16-year-old high school student killed last month at the Edmondson Village Shopping Center was shot at over the weekend.

Numerous family members of Deanta Dorsey were at their West Baltimore home when it was shot at early Saturday morning, said Thiru Vignarajah, the former Maryland deputy attorney general who is representing several of the victim’s relatives. He estimated the home was shot at four or five times, with one bullet striking the front door and another traveling through a window into the home. He said the family has since been relocated.


Vernon Davis, a spokesperson for Baltimore Police, confirmed police responded around 1:45 a.m. Saturday to a report of “destruction of property and discharging.” Davis said police found a home that had been “hit multiple times by what seemed to be bullets” and that family members were unharmed.

Calling it a “targeted” shooting of the family’s home, Vignarajah said they had no direct information it was connected to Dorsey’s killing.


But, he said, they are not “going to bury our heads in the sand” about it taking place less than a day after a news conference where he was joined by Dorsey’s family members to applaud the arrest of a 16-year-old boy in killing. That arrest was announced by Baltimore Police on Thursday.

An attorney for slain 16-year-old Deanta Dorsey's family says their home was struck by bullets early Saturday morning. Photos show what appear to be bullet holes in a door and window.

“This is a wake-up call about the importance of keeping family members safe in the wake of high-profile violent crimes, in particular,” Vignarajah said. “This is a city that is already afraid. Violent events, like shooting up the house of a family who’s already lost their little boy, only amplifies those concerns. We remain hopeful that justice will be done for Deanta.”

An attorney for slain 16-year-old Deanta Dorsey's family says their home was struck by bullets early Saturday morning. Photos show what appear to be bullet holes in a door and window.

In a statement, Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office spokesperson James Bentley said the office was “saddened and disgusted at the reported shameless attack” on Dorsey’s family and criticized Vignarajah for bringing family members to the news conference Friday.

“We are quite concerned at the lack of care the family’s attorney has shown for their safety,” Bentley said. “At the press conference on Friday, he stated there remained a suspect at large but still had the family on display, demonstrating little to no concern for their safety.”

Dorsey’s aunt, who did not wish to be identified out of concerns for her safety, told reporters Monday that the family was disappointed in the comments from the state’s attorney’s office.

“If we want to speak to the public, we will — and we expect our attorney, Thiru, to respect our request. Today of all days is not the time to attack our family. We have been through enough,” the aunt said. “The state’s attorney should not be contributing to the culture of silence. He should be fighting it with everything he has, just like we are.”

Breaking News Alerts

As it happens

Be informed of breaking news as it happens and notified about other don't-miss content with our free news alerts.

Dorsey’s family didn’t speak at the Friday news conference, but Vignarajah told reporters they were grateful the teen suspect was charged with first-degree murder. He said the family did not wish to be identified.

”I am optimistic that they will reach a point where they are comfortable sharing their pain directly, that they are comfortable sharing their name — right now, you know of them as the loved ones of a 16-year-old boy who was slain in broad daylight across from this high school — but that day has not come yet because this is a long journey,” Vignarajah told reporters Friday.


About halfway through Vignarajah’s Friday comments, Dorsey’s relatives were overcome with emotion, embraced and walked across the street to grieve privately.

Around 11:20 a.m. on Jan. 4, Dorsey, two 17-year-olds and two 18-year-olds, all students at Edmondson-Westside High School, were standing in a parking lot at the West Baltimore shopping center when two shooters fired at them, killing Dorsey and injuring the other four, police said.

Dorsey, who was a sophomore at the school, was remembered as a “sweet boy” with several brothers and sisters.

Vignarajah said Friday that police believe there was another individual involved in the shooting who has yet to be arrested. Camera footage from the area of the shooting has been critical to the investigation, he said. Police previously released surveillance photos of two masked individuals apparently running from the scene.