Dawn Shipley and her boyfriend waited until midnight Friday and then left their West Baltimore house. The couple was eager, her family said, to withdraw money from an ATM because Shipley's boyfriend's welfare check had just cleared.
He took out the money, and she went to a bar and bought some cigarettes and maybe some beer, according to family members. About an hour later, about 1 a.m. Saturday, somebody shot and killed Shipley. She fell to the ground, bleeding on the sidewalk of the 500 block of Brunswick St. It is just blocks away from her home."I have been hearing so many stories," said Alex Shipley, Dawn's father. "The only ones who know the truth about what happened are my daughter and the guy who killed her."
Police say that Shipley, 29, was with her boyfriend when a man approached them and asked for cigarettes. A witness told police she refused to give him one, and the man pulled out a handgun and shot her.
The boyfriend could not be reached for comment. The Sun is not revealing his name because he is a witness to a homicide.
Leonard Calis, a distant relative of Shipley who lives across the street from the patch of pavement where she was killed, said he heard a series of gunshots that evening and rushed outside.
"I saw her arm laying in the gutter," he said.
He also saw her boyfriend pacing from her body to a nearby front step, he said.
"I heard her boyfriend say 'Call 911! Call 911! Call 911,' " he said. "He could not sit still. He was [walking] back and forth."
Yesterday candles burned at a curbside memorial on the sidewalk where Shipley was shot.
"This whole neighborhood knew Dawny," said Lisa Morales, a childhood friend. "She was the life of the party. She could sing, she could dance." Friends left items that she loved on a mat - Mickey Mouse dolls, a book of word puzzles and a photograph of her with her 9-year-old son, Keith Brown.
"He knows that his mother is with Jesus now," Morales said. "That is what he knows."
Morales plans to hold a bake sale to help the family raise money for the burial.
She glanced around the neighborhood - a place with vacant rowhouses, trash in the streets and people sitting idly on their steps on a workday morning.
"This neighborhood was never like this growing up," she said. "I still live here, but I'm trying hard to get out."