Stray bullet may have hit infant

One of several shots fired penetrates wall of rowhouse

May 13, 2008|By Richard Irwin and Brent Jones | Richard Irwin and Brent Jones,Sun reporters

City police were trying to determine whether a 2-month-old baby boy was shot in the head yesterday evening by a stray bullet fired from outside his O'Donnell Heights home.

Officer Troy Harris, a police spokesman, said that shortly after 6 p.m., someone standing in the 6100 block of Plantview Way fired several shots, one of which penetrated the exterior wall of a rowhouse and entered the house.

In the confusion that followed the gunshots, Harris said, residents of the house grabbed the baby and rushed outside for safety. He said the child's relatives noticed an injury to the baby's head on their way out of the house and assumed that he had been shot.

The baby was taken to Johns Hopkins Children's Center for an examination. Harris said the child's injury might have been caused by his head striking something in the house while he was being rushed outside and not by a bullet.

"We're waiting on a doctor's examination to determine the cause of the infant's injury," Harris said.

Two young men were taken into custody shortly after the shots were fired and were being interviewed at the Southeastern District, Harris said.

In the neighborhood of small rowhouses on a side street, police tape cordoned off the block last night. Few people were outside in the drizzle.

Kia Arnold, who lives in the same block of Plantview Way and spoke outside her home, said she heard about three gunshots.

Arnold said she made sure her children lay on the floor in her home as the shots rang out, before she headed out her front door when she heard helicopters and police sirens.

Arnold, who also has a 2-month-old baby, said she is a friend of the injured infant's mother.

"I went to see if she was OK, but [police] wouldn't let me in her house," Arnold said. "The only time I saw her was when she was taking the baby away, and she was in tears."

Arnold said violent incidents have decreased in the neighborhood recently, in part because of an increased police presence. She has lived at her house since July.

"As soon as it calms down, now you have more stuff going on. I can't even let my kids outside," Arnold said.

brent.jones@baltsun.com

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