Girl, 6, dies in cross-fire Gunmen sought after child is slain on street.

July 10, 1991|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Evening Sun Staff William B. Talbott contributed to this story.

A 6-year-old West Baltimore girl died late last night after she was shot in the head when caught in the cross-fire of two gunmen in the 1800 block of N. Rosedale St. near her home.

The victim, Tiffany Smith of the 3000 block of W. North Ave., died shortly after 11 p.m. at the Shock-Trauma Unit in Baltimore.

The gunmen remained at large today.

Police said Tiffany was outside the home of a friend and schoolmate around the corner from her home at 10:40 p.m. She had planned to spend the night at her friend's house.

Nearby, police said, were several other residents, including youngsters.

In the midst of the activity, police said, two armed men, one standing south of North Avenue near Westwood Avenue and the other about 125 feet away, faced each other and began shooting.

When the shots rang out, several people standing outside grabbed their children and fled inside to escape the fusillade of bullets.

Tiffany was on the sidewalk when the shooting erupted. She fell to the pavement in front of 1804 N. Rosedale St., bleeding from a head wound.

Police said the two gunmen fired more than a dozen shots at each other, then ran in opposite directions. Investigators recovered seven 9mm shell casings near Westwood avenue, one of the shooting positions.

A spokesman for the Fire Department said a resident of 1814 N. Rosedale St. dialed 911 and reported a child had been shot.

Moments later, an ambulance arrived and rushed Tiffany to Shock-Trauma.

On the way, a medic administered first-aid and attempted to keep the child breathing, while radioing ahead about the girl's head wound.

At Shock-Trauma, the girl underwent emergency surgery and remained in critical condition until she was pronounced dead at 11:13 p.m.

Police said there was no evidence indicating either gunman was wounded in the exchange of gunfire. A motive for the shoot-out could not be established.

Police said information gathered from witnesses led several uniformed police and detectives to stake out a home not far from the 1800 block of N. Rosedale St. for a man who may have been one of the gunmen. Police were seeking the driver of a car with teddy bears on the rear deck. The car was seen leaving the area shortly after the shoot-out.

Several witnesses were being interviewed today at police headquarters. A detective said investigators believe one man from the group may have been one of the shooters.

"We're centering on him," the detective said.

Police said anyone having information about the gunmen and their whereabouts should call the city homicide squad at 396-2100.

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