A 3-year-old East Baltimore boy was killed by stray gunfire last night as he stood in front of his family's rowhouse in the 900 block of E. Biddle St.
Andre Antonio Dorsey was hit about 7 p.m. when a gunman fired a single shot at a man who was running up the street, police said. The child was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
The boy was the 17th child under the age of 15 to be hit by gunfire in Baltimore this year and at least the seventh to be hit by a stray bullet. He was the second of those children to die so far this year; the other was a13-year-old boy killed Saturday in what police believed was a drug-related shooting.
Last night, family members and neighbors grieved inside Antwoine Dorsey's home, and a female city police officer wept outside as she was comforted by a fellow officer.
"It's sad, it's so sad. Innocent babies are the ones that are paying for this world of drugs," said Rose Long, a close friend of the family who has lived in the neighborhood for 15 years. "It's drugs from morning till night, then from night till morning."
Witnesses and family members said that the gunman had stoodin front of the Lounge Liquors bar a few doors away and pulled out a gun, causing another man to begin running along the street near Antwoine's home.
The man ran directly toward Andre, and the child attempted to scurry up the stairs toward his front door when the gunman fired a shot, Ms. Long said.
Police said they were awaiting the results of an autopsy today to determine the caliber of the weapon and precisely how the boy was struck
Antwoine was the youngest of eight children, who range in ages from 3 to16, family members said. Most were too overcome to speak for more than a few moments.
Ms. Long said the boy's parents "are poor folks, on social service, and they don't even have the money to bury him. I hope people will help them out."
Shootings killed two young children -- ages 6 and 3 -- a month apart in West Baltimore last year. So many such shootings have occurred in recent years in Baltimore that doctors at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center have been outspoken in denouncing the violence and the availability of guns.
Neighbors around the Dorsey home said they have heard gunshots and seen drug deals conducted in plain sight throughout the neighborhood, which has several boarded-up homes and debris lying along the sidewalks.
When a reporter asked about drug problems in the neighborhood, they laughed at the question. "You don't know where you are, do you?" one woman said angrily. "This is a battle zone."
Ms. Long said she had seen seven or eight young boys standing at the far end of the street when the shooting began.
She also said she was sure that the killing will be attributed somehow to drugs.
"I've lived here for 15 years and seen it get worse and worse each year," she said. "The last few years have been really bad. They shoot kids all the time, like it's nothing."
In Saturday's shooting, the victim was 13-year-old Antwan "Troy" Stewart, a seventh-grader who slipped out of his Mondawmin-area home on Holmes Avenue while his parents slept. Shortly after 4:30 a.m., in the 2300 block of Whittier Ave., someone placed a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.
City police suspected drugs were involved. But no drugs were found, and the boy's parents found it hard to believe that their son was involved in such activity.
A suspect, 29-year-old Kevin Felipa, of the 500 block of S. Beechfield Ave., was arrested Sunday night and charged with first-degree murder.