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13-year old boy shot to death in Baltimore remembered at vigil

The Baltimore Sun
Loved ones gather to remember 13-year-old DiAndre Barnes, who was killed Saturday.

Between the two friends, DiAndre Barnes was the better football player, said Abdul Sannie.

"He had the best arm. He could throw very far," Abdul, 14, said in their West Baltimore neighborhood. "We used to play in a big field through those houses."

But Abdul, who said he had known DiAndre since he was 5 years old, will never find out if he could ever match his friend's skills. The 13-year-old was gunned down Saturday morning in West Baltimore, according to police.

Abdul, along with several dozen people from the community and the Baltimore Police Department, gathered Monday evening at 900 Pennsylvania Ave., where DiAndre was shot, to honor the teen's memory.

Abdul, who lives a few blocks from where DiAndre was shot, said he has become afraid of his own neighborhood.

DiAndre, who attended Booker T. Washington Middle School, was killed less than a half-mile from the school, which is in the same building as Renaissance Academy High School. He was shot about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, along with a 21-year-old man who suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.

Police would not discuss possible suspects or say whether DiAndre was the target of the attack. Investigators are still seeking tips in the case.

"This happened in a neighborhood that was a highly populated neighborhood," police spokeswoman Detective Nicole Monroe said. "We have gotten tips, but we are asking for more. Every tip brings us that much closer to closing the case."

At the vigil, mourners arranged candles to spell out "DiAndre." They also hung a banner that bore several dozen signatures.

DiAndre's father, Ronnie Barnes, organized the vigil. Standing with his older son, Ronnie Barnes Jr., he wept as the crowd prayed. He wore a T-shirt with his son's face printed on it.

The killing is a devastating yet familiar loss for a community that has endured the recent deaths of other teens.

Ananias Jolley, 17, was stabbed inside Renaissance Academy in November and died from his injuries. In January, Renaissance Academy student Darius Bardney, 16, was killed in what police described as an accidental shooting. The next month, a former Renaissance student, Daniel Jackson, 17, was killed less than two miles from the school.

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