Baltimore police are looking for a suspected drug dealer who allegedly shot and killed a 16-year-old West Baltimore youth who strayed into an open-air drug market.
Sherman Antwon Williams, 18, was charged in a warrant yesterday with first-degree murder and handgun violations in the Nov. 24 slaying of 16-year-old Hosea Parker, homicide Detective Gene Constantine said.
Police said Hosea and friends were walking in the 700 block of Poplar Grove St. shortly before midnight when they passed through a crowd of other teen-agers -- including Mr. Williams who taunted them.
"It was kind of a 'What's up, what are you looking at' kind of thing," Detective Constantine said.
Police allege that Mr. Williams pulled out a semiautomatic handgun and fired at least five shots at Hosea and his friends.
Hosea was shot in the back and died on the sidewalk.
The youth had moved to the neighborhood three days earlier. He apparently was unaware that he was walking through an area where drug dealers regularly set up shop late at night, police said.
At the time of the shooting, Mr. Williams was free on $2,500 bail for an Oct. 31 arrest on charges of drug distribution, handgun violations and assault on police.
During the October incident, an officer allegedly was punched in the neck and chest as he arrested Mr. Williams on suspicion of selling cocaine in the 2900 block of W. Lanvale St. police said. Mr. Williams was armed with a .38-caliber revolver, police said.
The Parker killing attracted media attention after the Rev. Willie Ray, a Baltimore anti-crime activist noted for his "Stop the Killing" vigils, held a rally in the boy's memory last week.
Mr. Ray, who lives two doors from where Hosea was killed, heard the gunshots the night of the slaying and prayed for the boy as he was dying on the street.
At the rally, Mr. Ray said gangs of drug-dealing youths are not uncommon on street corners along Poplar Grove Street and Edmondson Avenue and that they have frightened residents.
Police said Mr. Williams is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with any information about him is asked to call the city homicide unit at 396-2100.