‘All I have are memories’: Loved ones remember 28-year-old woman killed in triple East Baltimore shooting

A vigil is held for Tyrenka Dorsey, killed in triple shooting Saturday.

Less than a week ago, family and friends packed into Tyrenka Dorsey’s home to celebrate her 28th birthday.

They sat around laughing and telling stories, sang happy birthday, ate cake and drank mimosas.


But now loved ones are mourning Dorsey’s death as they plan her funeral and clean the Frankford neighborhood house, throwing out uneaten birthday cake and removing the pink and white balloons strung above the birthday banner. The 28-year-old was fatally shot Saturday morning around 2:30 a.m. in the 700 block of N. Patterson Park Ave. — the same block where she grew up.

“My sister is dead and gone” said Tyrena, Dorsey’s older sister, who asked to be identified by only her first name because of safety concerns. “All I have are memories. There’s nothing that will make it better.”


Police said Tyrenka Dorsey and two other women got into a fight outside Patchase, a social club in the neighborhood.

Several blocks from the social club, the women were stopped at a traffic light when someone opened fire, striking all three. A neighbor recalled hearing five gunshots and a car crash. Police have not identified the other two women, ages 23 and 27. No one has been arrested.

The Patchase Social Club has been a fixture in the neighborhood for over a decade, its owner and the neighborhood’s City Council member said. Although police did not identify Patchase by name, its address matches the police description.

“It is totally unacceptable," Councilwoman Shannon Sneed said. “This is not something that is normal. I am hoping that we all will step up and work together to really come up with a plan and put it in the forefront that we want crime to stop in Baltimore.”


Tyrena and Dorsey’s best friend, Airiel, who also declined to give her last name for safety reasons, remembered “Reka” as the life of the party. They said she had a big heart, loved to travel and was very mature for her age. They said Dorsey held a steady job owned a home and bought a new car. The two also remembered how much Dorsey adored her two nephews.

Airiel added that her best friend would listen to Beyonce all the time and rewatch videos of her concerts frequently.

“She lived a good life for only being 28,” Tyrena said.

Tyrena said many details from the night of her sister’s shooting are unclear. But what she does know is that someone out there has more information about what transpired.

“I’m frustrated that people won’t be telling the truth,” she said. “Somebody out there has got to be feeling bad that they pulled that trigger.”

Two years ago the sisters’ mother died suddenly from a heart attack. And nine years ago, their cousin was fatally shot. Tyrena said she is still recovering from both deaths.

“They were my backbone,” she said. “People keep telling me it will be OK, but I don’t care. We still have to live, but I don’t know how.”

Over 100 people gathered around Tyree Colion’s brightly spray-painted “No Shoot Zone 203," the spot where Dorsey was shot, Wednesday around 6 p.m. for a vigil.

Four Baltimore police patrol cars were parked in the area and several officers watched the event unfold. One car was stationed at either end of the street, helping to eliminate traffic from coming through as people spilled into the street from the sidewalk.

Community advocate Terry Williams spoke for the majority of the vigil, highlighting the persistent violence in the city and asked everyone to think twice about their actions.

“Retaliation after retaliation leads to annihilation,” said Williams, known as “Uncle T.” “Let’s stop repeating this scene of candlelight vigils. Let’s stop this for Reka.”

Mayoral candidate and community activist Carlmichael “Stokey" Cannady was also in attendance. The community activist urged vigilgoers — particularly the men — to make a difference and take care of those around them.

“How ... did she get killed before one of us?" Cannady said while talking about protecting women.

Before letting go of silver and black star balloons by the dozen, people sniffled and wiped their eyes while chanting “Reka” and blaring a Beyonce song.

As the balloons drifted away into the night sky, everyone yelled “love you” one last time before turning the music back up, embracing one another and breaking out in dance.

Baltimore Sun reporter Phillip Jackson contributed to this article.

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