The 2-year-old boy wounded by a stray bullet during a shootout Monday in East Baltimore was released yesterday from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.
Michael Gordon had been shot in the left wrist as his mother tried to carry him into their home in the 900 block of N. Collington Ave. to escape the gunfire. He was in good spirits yesterday after three days of being treated by physicians wearing what he said were "scary masks."
The toddler will have to wear a bandage and soft cast for a few months, nurses said. He also must visit a hand clinic each week so that doctors can monitor his recovery.
Last night, Eric Wilson, 24, of the 800 block of N. Collington Ave. was charged with assault with intent to murder and handgun violations in connection with the incident. The suspect, accompanied by a lawyer, surrendered to police in the Eastern District about 7:30 p.m.
Police believe the shootout stemmed from a dispute between Mr. Wilson and his friends and a rival group.
About an hour before he left for home yesterday, Michael sat in a playroom at the Children's Center, cradled in his grandmother's arms, holding a stuffed Big Bird and waving to TV cameras.
"I want to go home," he said. But his mother, Lesha Gardner, 22, said their first stop would be a favorite of Michael's, a Chuck E. Cheese pizza restaurant.
"It's a disaster," Ms. Gardner said of the shooting. "I had heard about kids being shot before, but I never thought it would happen to mine. I'll just hope and pray it doesn't happen again."
Ms. Gardner, who had moved to Collington Avenue only two days before the shooting, said Michael will be restricted to the back yard from now on.
Nurses described the 2-year-old as talkative and brave. Michael did not cry when he was shot, they said, although he did shed some tears when doctors inserted an IV feeding tube into his arm.
"He'll remember the hospitalization," said Nancy Steiner, a nurse manager. "But unlike a school-age child, I don't think he understands how serious it is to be shot by a bullet."