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Crime

Case of 8-year-old fatally shot on Presbury Street now a homicide, Baltimore Police say

The case of an 8-year-old boy who died from a gunshot wound to the head Friday in a home on West Baltimore’s Presbury Street is now a homicide, police said.

Baltimore Police on Wednesday morning identified the child as Dylan King, a third grade student at Matthew A. Henson Elementary School near his home.

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No charges have been filed against an 18-year-old man who was taken into custody after the deadly shooting, authorities said Wednesday. The case is an active homicide investigation.

“Our hearts and thoughts remain with Dylan’s family and friends in this difficult time,” Principal Kedra S. Jacox-Paige said in a letter to parents Tuesday. “Please expect your child to be affected in some way by the news of Dylan’s death.”

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The Baltimore City Public Schools crisis team will be available at the school as needed in the days ahead to meet in small groups with students, she said.

Western District police were summoned shortly after 5 p.m. Friday to the 2100 block of Presbury Street in the Easterwood neighborhood for a report of a shooting.

Officers were led to a home in the middle of the block, where they found the boy in the upstairs portion of the residence. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and pronounced dead.

Police originally listed him as a 7-year-old boy.

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The 18-year-old was in the home and taken to a hospital, where he was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation. Authorities planned to interview him extensively about what happened inside the home, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said.

He did not say whether there is a relationship between the victim and the 18-year-old. Homicide detectives were processing the scene Friday, along with crime scene investigators.

“We don’t have many details,” Harrison said Friday. “We have this unfortunate and very tragic incident with yet another child losing a life in Baltimore City.”

A visibly frustrated Scott vowed that detectives will “get to the bottom of what happened” but said the city needs to continue to have conversations about the excess of guns flowing into the city and about the reasons so many young people have access to weapons.

“No family should have to feel that pain,” Scott said. “We all should go to sleep with a heavy heart, heavy mind, heavy eyes.”

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On a foggy Saturday on Presbury Street, thoughts from residents matched the gloomy mood.

Vivian Baines, a psychiatric specialist, said she saw police cruisers, a crowd and some of the roads blocked off when leaving for work about 6:15 p.m. Friday. She lives around the corner from the scene and didn’t know what was happening, shesaid, but heard wailing.

“I heard — now this is heart-wrenching — the wailing of the family members,” she said.

Baines, who has been working in the mental health field for more than 30 years, sat on her porch still in her scrubs, and discussed the shooting with a neighbor.

“Doesn’t it feel somber around here today?” she told the neighbor. She only found out about the shooting Saturday morning after her goddaughter told her what happened, Baines said.

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Nicole Barrett, who lives across the street from the home where the child was shot, said this was a loving family and a working house.

“It’s a tragedy. I mean, the baby didn’t have a chance to live,” she said. ”I feel for the family.”

“In passing with these people, they seemed nice. They loved each other,” she said. “That mom does a good job of taking care of those children.”

Mae Lee, a Baltimore City Public Schools employee who works in the cafeteria, lives around the corner and on Saturday morning echoed Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott’s words from Friday about how kids are resorting to shooting one another.

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“I just don’t know where all the guns are coming from. Why are the young people having so many guns? It’s out of hand,” Lee said. Kids back then used to fistfight, but now, they find guns, shooting one another to death over an argument, she said.

“It’s a terrible situation,” she said. “I don’t know what they’re going to do about it.”

An 8-year-old boy was fatally shot on the 2100 block of Presbury Street.

Harrison said Friday: “We talk about the prevalence of guns in our city. We talk about the willingness of criminals to use them, and we talk about gun protection and gun safety and responsibility. We talk about all these things... and yet it has happened again.”

Scott said: “What I challenge everyone to think about is the why. Why are people shooting and killing each other?”

Marvin L. “Doc” Cheatham, president of the Matthew A. Henson Neighborhood Association, said he has been stopping by the child’s home several times a day since the shooting “just trying to reach” the mother.

“I’m coming to help her,” Cheatham said, who was parked outside the child’s home Wednesday. “The community is here to help her. Our kids are so accustomed to seeing shootings and killings.”

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We Are Us, a Baltimore group and movement focusing on helping men and boys lead productive lives, and nonprofit Black Mental Health Alliance want to assist the family said Cheatham.

“This is so sad,” he said. “I’m going to keep doing it until I get her.” Cheatham said he’s aware of a GoFundMe that has been set up for Dylan’s funeral expenses.

The page says 8-year-old Dylan was a sweet and silly boy, with smile that could cheer up anybody. Dylan has eight brothers and three sisters, and his death has shaken his family, according to the page.

Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 410-396-2100.


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