Teens held after tot is shot as bullets disrupt party

July 06, 1994|By Richard Irwin and Michael James | Richard Irwin and Michael James,Sun Staff Writers

Three 16-year-old boys were arrested last night after two bullets were fired into a party outside a West Baltimore house, leaving a 23-month-old boy with a gunshot wound in his left arm, police said.

Quraan Payton was treated at the Johns Hopkins Hospital pediatric intensive care unit and released about two hours after he was shot, said his mother, Lynette Coates.

Police said the bullet passed through the boy's arm about 10:15 p.m. as he stood on the back porch of his family's home in the 3800 block of Clifton Ave.

"It's a damn shame," said Quraan's uncle, Kevin Warren, as he swept the back porch last night, looking for the slug that hit the child.

Quraan lives at the house where the shooting occurred.

The family was celebrating the 22nd birthdays of Mr. Warren and his twin sister, Karren Warren, when the crowd of 20 to 25 guests was dispersed by the gunfire.

Police and the boy's relatives said they were unsure of the motive for the shooting. Mr. Warren said he knew the three teen-agers -- who were being held at the Southwestern District ++ pending charges last night -- but that there was "no bad blood" that would have caused last night's violence.

Mr. Warren said several of the party guests noticed someone had thrown two rocks at the backyard fence. A minute or two later, after Mr. Warren had called out to whoever threw the rocks, someone fired two gunshots, sending family members and guests diving for cover.

The child's mother, Ms. Coates, 22, said she was gathering items and was about to enter the house when she heard gunfire.

"All of a sudden," she said, "I heard my baby cry out in pain."

After picking her son up, she noticed a hole in his shirt and blood coming from his left arm.

Quraan was taken to Hopkins by ambulance, and police questioned several neighbors about the shooting. From those interviews, they identified the three teen-agers as suspects and later found two small-caliber bullet casings -- .22 or .25 caliber -- on the lawn of a house where two of the boys live, police said.

The boys were being questioned about a motive for the shooting, police said. Two of the boys are twins.

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