Coach killed outside center

Police seek motive in drive-by shooting

February 10, 2007|By Annie Linskey and Josh Mitchell

A youth basketball coach was fatally shot outside a recreational center in North Baltimore Thursday night, police said.

Darnell G. Gaither, 34, was getting into his car in front of the Walter P. Carter rec center in the 800 block of E. 43rd Street about 8:40 p.m. A car pulled alongside and someone inside opened fire before the gunman's vehicle sped away, said Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman.

Gaither was pronounced dead at Johns Hopkins Hospital about 9:10 p.m.

Moses said Gaither was not robbed and that police knew of no motives or suspects.

A spokeswoman for the Baltimore recreation and parks department said Gaither had been a volunteer coach of a 13-and-under basketball team at the center for the past two months. A youth game was played at the Carter center Thursday night, but Gaither was not one of the coaches, she said.

Police said he lived in the 3700 block of Boarman Ave. in Northwest Baltimore.

But Sophia McAllister, who lives on Boarman Avenue, said that Gaither lived next door with his wife and their two sons until the family sold their rowhouse about two years ago.

McAllister recalled Gaither as a "courteous" man who was devoted to his teenage sons. She said he coached their youth football and basketball teams.

Attempts to reach Gaither's family were unsuccessful.

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