A 5-year-old girl injured in a shooting Monday evening in West Baltimore remained in a hospital in serious but stable condition Tuesday morning, police said.
By a stunning and tragic coincidence, Amy Hayes is the younger sister of Taylor Hayes, a 7-year-old child who was fatally shot in July, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation. Taylor was shot this summer while sitting in the back seat of a car in Southwest Baltimore. She died two weeks later.
Keon Gray, 29, has been charged with first-degree murder in her death.
The 5-year-old was shot on the 1000 block of McKean Ave. in Sandtown-Winchester around 6:20 p.m. Police said she was caught in the crossfire between suspects in an unidentified vehicle and on foot.
On Monday, neighbor Doretha Carpenter said she had ducked for cover in her home when she heard the shots fired on her block — about six of them. It wasn’t until she came outside that she learned the girl, who is also her godchild, had been injured.
“I saw her doll baby in the street,” Carpenter said.
After being shot in the groin, Amy dropped the baby doll and the money she was carrying. The items remained on the street as detectives combed the scene for evidence an hour later.
Carpenter said Amy, who had just turned 5, had been on her way to the corner store when the shots were fired.
Her favorite snacks are Cheetos and sunflower seeds, said the store’s owner, Eduardo Torres. He was stricken by news of her injury and prayed to God for her full recovery.
A neighbor drove the girl to the hospital.
“I hope my baby is OK,” Carpenter said.
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Police said the child was alert and talking to doctors as she went into surgery. By about 9 p.m. Monday, she emerged from the operating room and was expected to survive, police said.
The area sees a significant portion of the city’s crime. So far this year, 38 of 278 total homicides — around 14 percent — in Baltimore this year have been reported in the 21217 ZIP code, which encompasses Sandtown-Winchester.
Mayor Catherine Pugh said Tuesday she was “outraged” by the shooting, and was “shocked” to learn of the girl’s connection to Taylor Hayes.
“No child should have to live through this. No child should have to experience this,” said Pugh, who visited Amy Hayes in the hospital Monday night.
City Councilman Brandon Scott, who chairs the public safety committee, called the shooting an act of a “pure coward.”
“Only a pure coward would shoot a baby and leave her in the street,” Scott tweeted. “Somebody needs to buck up and tell us who shot this baby.”
Detectives are asking for anyone with information to contact them at 410-396-2221 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7lockup.