Aspiring musician shot and killed in Woodlawn

Teen-ager remembered as artist, computer whiz

July 05, 2002|By Laurie Willis | Laurie Willis,SUN STAFF

A Woodlawn teen-ager who was fatally shot Wednesday night was finishing summer school and looking forward to making a compact disc with fellow members of the rap group Forilla, his mother said yesterday.

David Louis Baskin Jr., 18, died on a sidewalk in the 2500 block of Elesmere Court about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to Baltimore County police. Baskin, of the 2400 block of Barnsely Place, was shot in the upper body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said yesterday they know of no motive and have no suspect in Baskin's killing. He was shot within walking distance of his home.

The teen-ager, who was described as a computer genius who loved music and playing sports, turned 18 on Tuesday.

His mother had planned to throw a birthday cookout for him yesterday, with hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs and watermelon. Instead, she spent the day thanking well-wishers for their condolences and wondering what might have been.

"He was an artist," Brenda Baskins, 44, said of her son, the oldest of three children. "He was a genius in computers. He and his friends were just getting ready to make a CD. They formed the group to keep themselves off of the streets."

David Baskin and several neighborhood children -- he lived in a cluster of townhouses and apartments off Rolling Road in Woodlawn -- performed in a rap group they called Forilla, his mother said. She said she encouraged him to stick with the group because she saw it as something positive.

Brenda Baskin said she doesn't know why anyone would want to kill her son. She said he wasn't involved in drugs but acknowledged that he and some of his friends had been accosted recently by teen-agers that she believed were involved in a gang.

She said she had talked to her son about staying away from gangs. He heeded her advice, she said.

"He mostly hung around the neighborhood," said Brenda Baskins, who works at the Department of Social Services and is completing a master's degree in social work at the University of Baltimore.

Brenda Baskins said she last talked to her son about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday.

After the shooting, Brenda Baskins said several of her son's friends gathered around him as he lay on the ground, gasping for breath. She and her husband, David Louis Baskins Sr., ran to their son, while his best friend, Spencer Dobson, tried to comfort him.

"His friends would not leave the scene," Brenda Baskins said. "They wanted to protect him for the last time. I got there just as he was taking his last breath. I didn't want them to label him as a drug addict, and I didn't want to abandon him. Nobody was after him for any wrong reasons."

Yesterday, just a few feet from where David Baskins was shot, a memorial of stuffed animals, balloons and flowers rested against a tree. On the sidewalk where Baskins fell, the words "We Miss You" were written.

Dobson stood looking at the memorial, crying.

"He died right there," Dobson said. "I laid right here next to him. He was a genius. All that music, that boy could make some music."

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