13-year-old boy killed in drive-by shooting

Police are unsure if youth was target

teen becomes 151st city homicide victim

July 24, 2002|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A 13-year-old boy was wounded in a drive-by shooting in West Baltimore and died early yesterday, police said.

Dwight Gilmore was standing with a group of friends about 11:30 p.m. Monday in the 3000 block of Grayson St. when someone drove up in a green car and opened fire, police said.

The boy, who lived in the 1700 block of N. Dukeland St. several blocks away, was struck once in the upper torso, police said. He died just after midnight yesterday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, becoming the city's 151st homicide this year.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in Wednesday's editions on the shooting death of a 13-year-old boy in West Baltimore incorrectly attributed information and comments to Angie Gross, 39. In fact, they were provided by another neighborhood resident. The Sun regrets the error.

Police said they did not know whether Dwight was being targeted or was struck by a bullet intended for another youth. Police said one witness reported hearing someone shout Dwight's nickname, but detectives are unsure whether that was a warning from a friend or a ploy by the gunman.

Witnesses said they saw Dwight hanging out with eight or nine other teen-agers when they heard a loud boom.

"It was like a cherry bomb," said Angie Gross, 39, who had been sitting on her porch.

Gross said the other teen-agers ran away. One neighbor checked the boy's pulse while another tried to stop the bleeding. Gross said she ran to Dwight and "prayed and prayed and prayed."

"Nothing can hurt the boy now," she said.

The teen-ager had one passion in life, relatives said: his motorized dirt bike, which he drove on city streets, popping wheelies.

"He was an active child," said his grandmother, Naomi Morris.

Dwight and four siblings -- ages 16, 15, 11 and 2 -- were being raised by Morris in a rowhouse bracketed by vacant homes on Dukeland Street. Gilmore's parents are serving prison sentences, Morris said.

Morris said that Dwight needed more structure and activities in his life -- both of which she was unable to provide.

"He needed help, but people can't help him now," Morris said.

Neighbors and Morris said that Dwight was known for daredevil driving of his green Kawasaki motor bike, which he often fiddled with in the basement of the rowhouse. Yesterday, the cycle sat in the basement next to a grocery bag containing several parts. Relatives said Dwight had been trying to fix the machine for several days.

Morris and others said they did not know why Dwight was hanging out in West Baltimore at midnight. But he often spent time with friends in the 3000 block of Grayson St. and was often seen zipping down the street on the Kawasaki.

"He was really cool," said Marquis Jones, 14, a friend. "He loved his dirt bike."

About five hours before Dwight died, Marquis' mother, Robin Jones, saw the 13-year-old at a gas station talking to a friend. She said she overheard him raving about his dirt bike and how much he wanted to ride it.

"If I had my dirt bike," she heard him say, "I'd be going zoom, zoom, right now."

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