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Baltimore Police say 9-year-old allegedly shot, killed 15-year-old girl

CBS News logo CBS News 8/7/2022 Annie Rose Ramos
michaelharrison.jpg © Credit: CBSNews michaelharrison.jpg

BALTIMORE -- Homicide detectives have determined that a 9-year-old boy was involved in a shooting that killed a 15-year-old girl in the southwest neighborhood of Edmondson Village on Saturday, according to authorities.

The boy was among the children on a porch in the 600 block of Linnard Street, police said on Sunday. 

The weapon that was allegedly in his possession went off around 8 p.m., police said.

Multiple witnesses told investigators that the 9-year-old boy was playing with a loaded handgun when it accidentally discharged, police said.

After a bullet exited the gun and struck 15-year-old Nykayia Strawder in the head, the 9-year-old boy dropped the gun and ran, according to authorities.

Police initially said that Strawder was 14 years old.

An ambulance took the teenager to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead, police said.

Police chief Michael Harrison told reporters on Saturday night that detectives were "working with multiple minor witnesses who all have parents and/or guardians we're working to contact."

Officers ran the serial number on the gun and learned that it was registered to a woman who is related to the boy, police said.

The woman works as an armed security guard, according to authorities.

In accordance with Maryland state law, and due to the age of the 9-year-old, he can not be charged with a crime, police said.

Strawder's father, Dontay Jones, said he was home when the shooting happened.

Jones was with his wife and children when he heard a "loud muffling sound" come from the front porch. He said it was unclear if the sound was that of a gunshot.

Jones went downstairs to investigate and found Strawder bleeding "from her head, from the back of her head, on the side."

"I couldn't really tell because there was so much blood everywhere," he said.

Jones said he wants the person who shot his daughter to know they "took a very precious angel away from the world." 

"We will never be the same without her," he said.

Strawder's great aunt, Donyette McCray, told WJZ that there was tension between the 9-year-old boy and Strawder's brother prior to the shooting.

The two of them had been fighting before the 9-year-old boy decided to show up outside of Strawder's home with a gun.

"Her brother had been in a fight with him two times before, prior to this," McCray said.

Strawder's family is demanding justice in the aftermath of the deadly shooting.

"He needs to be accountable for his actions," McCray said. "I don't have my baby . . . she will never, ever be back."

Police records show that Strawder is the fifth teenager to be shot and killed in Edmondson Village within the past year.

Investigators are working closely with the State's Attorney's Office and potential charges related to the shooting are pending.

A vigil will be held for Strawder at the place where she was shot and killed at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

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