Seven-year-old Taylor Hayes is "fighting for her life" after being shot while riding in the back seat of a car. (Christina Tkacik, Baltimore Sun video)
The driver of a car in which a 7-year-old girl was shot in Southwest Baltimore has been arrested on drug and gun charges, Baltimore police said Friday.
Darnell Holmes, 33, was driving in the 500 block of Lyndhurst Street about 2:30 p.m. Thursday when shots were fired at the car, striking Taylor Hayes, who was in the back seat. Another child who was riding in the back seat was not injured.
Taylor, who was shot in the back, remained in critical and unstable condition at the University of Maryland Medical Center Friday, police said.
Officers found drugs and a gun with an extended magazine inside the car Holmes was driving, a Honda Accord with heavily-tinted windows, said Baltimore's interim police commissioner Gary Tuggle.
Attempts to reach Holmes or her lawyer were unsuccessful.
“She just loves music. You put any music on, she’ll dance,” Hayes said Thursday.
Taylor, a student at Robert Coleman Elementary School, also loves reading and practiced her skills every week with a Reading Partners volunteer during the school year.
“When I would come to pull her out of class she would get so excited,” said Carrie Wells, who tutored Taylor for about an hour each week. “I think she really loves the one-on-one attention you get in the program.”
Carlillian Thompson, the school’s principal, said Taylor would meet her in her office almost every week to eat lunch.
“Every morning she would come into my office and give me a hug, and we would always tell each other we love each other,” said Thompson. “She’s one of those children who, when you see her, you just have to smile because she always has a smile on her face.”
School administrators are assembling a crisis team for students, teachers, staff and parents, said assistant principal Tifini Stewart. “We’re all just praying and in contact with mom, just to make sure that she’s OK and she gives us updates for how things go,” Stewart said.