Watch CBS News

'Senseless crime': Family pleads for justice after 16-year-old killed near Baltimore school

Family of teen killed at Edmondson Village shopping center calls for justice
Family of teen killed at Edmondson Village shopping center calls for justice 03:02

BALTIMORE -- Family members of Deanta Dorsey prayed for strength at the Edmondson Village Shopping Center Thursday, one day after the 16-year-old was killed there.

Dorsey is one of five Edmondson-Westside High School students shot in the middle of the day Wednesday.

"We are hurt with this senseless crime that has happened yesterday—not just for Deanta but for all the other children involved. We ask for the neighborhood to continue, the community to continue to pray for each and every one of the families," said his aunt, her voice straining with emotion. "We are very heartbroken, and we're trying to get through this the best way we can."

Family members declined to give their names for security and privacy reasons. 

Shortly after the shooting, Dorsey's aunt told WJZ a staggering number of bullets struck her nephew. 

"I was told he was shot 18 times," his aunt said. "And for my 16-year-old to be shot 18 times and no one to reach out to us, I want answers."

The teenager's stepmother is devastated.

"I didn't birth him, but I've had him since he was four months old," the stepmother said. "He didn't deserve this. He was only 16-years-old. He was a good boy. He wasn't in trouble. He didn't mess with nobody or none of that. The school didn't call. The police never came. We found out through his friends calling. That's how we found out that my son died. That's not right or fair. We need some kind of justice or something."

No arrests have been made and police have released little information about the investigation. 

"It's the kind of thing we hear so often that we've almost become numb to. We've got to do something about the violent crime in Baltimore City," Governor Larry Hogan said Thursday.

The killing happened outside a Popeye's restaurant in the troubled shopping plaza across the street from Edmondson-Westside High School. 

Mayor Brandon Scott criticized the restaurant for serving students during school hours. 

"Skipping school or cutting class during lunch should not result in a death sentence," said former prosecutor Thiru Vignarajah, who represents Dorsey's family. 

Vignarajah also criticized the school. 

"That school operates like a mall where kids go in and out as they please. We're imploring you to do your job so we are not here again," Vignarajah said. 

Edmondson-Westside was closed Thursday but will open for a half day on Friday with counselors on hand.

"We want justice for Deanta. We want the city to treat this case—this child—like it was their child. We want this case to be treated like it was a mass shooting in Canton or Federal Hill or the Inner Harbor," Vignarajah said. "If there was a mass shooting of five students in Columbia, Maryland or Montgomery County, we'd have CNN talking about this. Well, Deanta's life mattered just as much."

With emotions still raw, the president of the Edmondson Village Community Association broke down talking about the tragedy. 

"There are no words to describe how I feel this morning," associated president Monique Washington said. "I feel like I failed my community this morning after fighting so hard."

She recounted how she met repeatedly with managers of the shopping center asking for security changes and better upkeep. 

She also urged people to come forward with tips. 

"Now is not the time to just keep sitting back and acting like you didn't see anything. This is not the time," Washington said. "That's the only way we're going to stop what's going on here in our city as far as our children being taken from us. Stop hiding behind your curtains. You have to be informed. You have to be engaged. You have to be accountable. That's what equals our change here in Baltimore City."

"Finding out who carried out that act is a top priority for us and for the police department, and our detectives continue to work around the clock to find them and they will, and when they do, and we will hand them over to the other parts of the justice system for swift and certain accountability," Mayor Scott said Thursday evening in remarks at City Hall.

If you know anything about this shooting, you can call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-Lockup. You can remain anonymous with your tips. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.