9-year-old shot at doorway of her church Girl is listed in good condition

June 07, 1993|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff Writer Contributing Writer Lisa Respers assisted with this article.

A 9-year-old girl walking through the doorway of her West Baltimore church was shot and wounded yesterday by what investigators believed was a stray bullet from a shooting half a block away.

The small-caliber bullet passed through Kimberly Chambers' hip as she walked into Christ the King Worship Center in the 1300 block of Edmondson Ave. at 1:30 p.m., police and witnesses said. She was listed in good condition last night at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, officials said.

"She kept saying, 'I've been stung, I've been stung,' " said the church pastor, the Rev. Lois Bethea-Thompson, who tried to calm the girl inside the church. "Initially it was hard to believe. She ran inside and said she felt something stick her and that it was stinging her."

Police Lt. James Rainey of the Western District said investigators believe the child was hit by a bullet fired near the intersection of Edmondson and Carey Street, where a shooting had been reported about the same time.

Officers arriving at the intersection found neither a victim nor gunman, according to the lieutenant.

Gail Chambers, Kimberly's mother, said she was attending a class on the upper floor of the church, housed in a remodeled two-story row building, while her daughter and several other children were waiting outside. She said she heard a "popping" noise and thought to herself, "I hope people are not shooting out there."

Seconds later, she said, one of Kimberly's friends walked up to her and whispered in her ear that her daughter had been shot.

"I just lost it," she said. "She had a red dress on and I saw no blood, so I pulled it up and I could see the bullet wound. She kept saying to me, 'Mommy, please don't cry.' "

Mrs. Chambers said she was relieved when she found that the bullet had passed through, and was not still lodged in her daughter's hip.

Darin Wall, 21, a member of the church, said he was upstairs when he heard three shots. "It sounded like it was right across the street," he said. "It was boom, boom, boom. I just looked at my sister and said it sounded like they were shooting out there. She just shook her head."

Yesterday was only the second time that services were held at the Edmondson Avenue building, the pastor said. The congregation recently moved there from its former home in the 4200 block of York Road.

"I wanted to start a ministry here," she said. "It seems like so many people leave the city and I think it sends a signal to the ones who want to take over that there is not going to be anyone to challenge them."

Mrs. Chambers said as she and her daughter rode in the ambulance, her daughter prayed. "I asked her what she was praying for, and she said she was praying for the man who shot her," Mrs. Chambers said.

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