Boy slain in gunfire on corner

January 12, 1995|By Peter Hermann and Edward Lee | Peter Hermann and Edward Lee,Sun Staff Writers

A 14-year-old boy was shot and killed and an 18-year-old man wounded last night when someone fired into a large crowd on a West Baltimore street corner, city police said.

Raheem Moore, 14, of the 700 block of W. Saratoga St. was pronounced dead at 7:10 p.m. in the back of an ambulance en route to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. He had been shot twice in the chest in the 800 block of W. Lexington St., less than two blocks from his home.

Investigators divulged few details of the shooting last night. After interviewing at least 20 witnesses at police headquarters, detectives said the Moore boy appeared to have been the intended victim, according to Officer Sabrina V. Tapp-Harper, a department spokeswoman.

Some witnesses, including several children, claimed to know the identity of the shooter, said Western District Capt. Michael J. Andrew. But no suspect had been arrested.

The slaying continued a deadly trend that began in December, when three children under the age of 15 were slain.

The first reports of gunfire came shortly after 6:30 p.m. Captain Andrew said nine shots were fired, possibly from a 9-mm semiautomatic handgun.

Officer Tapp-Harper said witnesses told detectives that two men walked up to the crowd, had "some type of exchange of words, and without provocation, opened fire." Police said the area is known for drug sales.

Police said that after being shot, the 14-year-old ran 50 yards south on Lexington and collapsed on the sidewalk.

The other victim, 18-year-old Leroy Durant of the 900 block of W. Lexington, was shot in the left side of his forehead and went to a nearby house. He was listed in critical condition but stable condition at the trauma center last night.

Among the witnesses being questioned were several men who had been in a brown Oldsmobile with Florida license plates. The car was parked several feet from where police recovered the nine bullet casings.

Captain Andrew said the driver claimed to have been picking up clothes from a Lexington Terrace apartment and discovered a body when the car pulled up. But the captain said that account was questionable because the mortally wounded boy collapsed so far from the shooting scene.

Police could not provide a description of an assailant last night.

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