The family of a 2-year-old boy shot outside a Southwest Baltimore corner shop embraced and praised the police officers who performed CPR on the child and rushed him to the hospital without waiting for an ambulance.
But the boy’s grandfather on Tuesday also called Baltimore’s violence a “virus” — and said he planned to move his family out of the city.
Markiyah Walker, 18, and her toddler son, Chase Meade, were on their way to get crabs when they were shot along with a 1-year-old and two men outside the Busy Bee corner market in Carrollton Ridge Friday night.
“Those kids survived and I’m grateful, but I’m angry this happened to them,” said Walker’s father, Marvin Walker. “This was a wake-up call for me.”
Walker, 39, said his daughter and grandson are in stable condition but remained in the hospital Tuesday. He said Chase faces an uphill battle to regain full use of his legs.
Walker and his mother, Darlene McFadden, met with the officers who sped Chase to the hospital — Carlos Arias, Daisha Simms and Nicholas Yinger — and said they’re grateful for the officers’ effort.
McFadden struggled to describe the toll the shooting has had on the family.
“I’m overwhelmed. I’m done,” she said. “I’m drained. I really am drained.”
Describing the shooting, police said unidentified assailants got out of a silver, mid-2000s model Honda Accord and opened fire at the intersection.
Officer Simms said she was the first on the scene and performed CPR on Chase before Arias and Yinger assisted.
Simms, who’s been with the department for three and a half years, said the scene was “chaotic.” She heard Markiyah Walker’s screams, fearful her son wouldn’t survive.
It reminded her of a fire she’d responded to where two infants were taken from a building; despite efforts to resuscitate them, they ultimately died.
When Simms began performing CPR on the 2-year-old Friday, she knew what was at stake.
“I could not have lost another baby,” she said, adding that she would’ve “definitely” needed therapy had Chase died.
With the child still alive and Arias and Yinger assisting, she said, the three took him to the hospital without waiting for a medic. “All of that goes out the window” when a child’s life is in danger, she said.
Marvin Walker said he received a call from his mother Friday night telling him about the shooting, and he raced to the hospital. It pained him to see his grandson in the hospital bed, connected to tubes and machines.
“The boy looks like he is in so much pain,” Walker said.
Chase is normally a happy child, Walker said, but the struggles show in his face.
“You can see it in his eyes. I can see that baby is not comfortable,” he said. “He doesn’t deserve this.”
Walker said Chase had extensive internal bleeding and had to have a kidney removed. The boy may struggle to walk because of his injuries, Walker said.
Markiyah Walker was shot in the back of the neck, which fractured her collar bone, he said. She is still in significant pain, but alert, he said.
McFadden said the injured mom has not left her child’s side since stabilizing.
The other victims, including a 1-year-old child, were taken to area hospitals and also were listed in stable condition, according to police.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Baltimore Field Division and Metro Crime Stoppers of Maryland have announced a reward of up to $15,000 for information about the shooting leading to an arrest and conviction. Police have announced no arrests.
Carrollton Ridge residents said the violence is symptomatic of larger issues of poverty and neglect.
Cynthia Tensley, president of the Carrollton Ridge Community Association, said the neighborhood has had two homicides this year, and the violence stems from regular drug-dealing there.
“In certain areas of our community … they are very open and blatant about it, as if they are protecting their business with impunity,” she said.
In a couple of instances, drug dealers have told double-parked drivers to move because they are hurting business, she said. Neighbors complain of drugs stashed in mailboxes and vacant houses. Others hesitate to call police because they fear retribution, even if they remain anonymous.
“It’s like a war zone. You have people who think they can shoot without care,” she said.
Tensley said the neighborhood has changed since she moved into her home in 1985. Some neighbors are making efforts to bring improvements, though, and she feels some optimism that new police Commissioner Michael Harrison can bring change.
“We can only hope and pray,” she said.
Walker has met with Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young and Harrison since the shooting, and they promised to hold those involved responsible and to make the neighborhood safer, he said.
But Walker said he cannot rely on the city’s leadership to keep his family safe.
“I thank the police officers and appreciate the mayor for what he’s doing,” he said, but “it’s going to be a hard job to do.”
He said he raised his daughter in Pigtown, but the family moved to Carrollton Ridge, which they thought was safer.
Walker said he plans to work extra hours or find another job to afford to move out of the city.
“The virus is just spreading. We have to get out of the city,” he said.
“This has become Satan’s playground.”