7-year-old Taylor Hayes, shot two weeks ago in Southwest Baltimore, dies

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Taylor Hayes. Photo via the Baltimore Police Department.

Taylor Hayes, the 7-year-old girl who was shot while sitting in the backseat of a car two weeks ago, has died, police said this morning.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Taylor,” said Baltimore police chief spokesman T.J. Smith. “She fought very hard. Her family is in our thoughts and prayers.”

On July 5, Hayes was in the back of a Honda Accord in the 500 block of Lyndhurst Street when a shooting occurred about 2:30 p.m. A bullet traveled through the trunk of the car and struck Hayes in the back. The driver of the car, 33-year-old Darnell Holmes, and her daughter seated in the back were not injured.

Holmes drove several blocks to Edmonson and N. Loudon avenues, where a man flagged down a nearby Baltimore police officer in his patrol car. The officer started performing life-saving efforts and got a private ambulance to take Hayes to Shock Trauma.

The girl underwent several surgeries and was listed in critical condition. At their last press conference on the case, police had said her condition had improved slightly.

Acting Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle and Smith have periodically offered updates on Hayes’ condition and pleaded for information about the shooting. Beyond details about how Hayes got shot, some of the circumstances surrounding the shooting remain unclear.

Investigators found multiple types of shell casings at the scene on Lyndhurst Street. A 40-caliber handgun with an extended magazine and suspected drugs were found in the Accord. Holmes was charged with possession of the weapon and the suspected drugs, but she was not charged with shooting Hayes. Holmes and Hayes are not related, police said,

And she was not cooperating with investigators, Tuggle and Smith said.

Police put out video of a white Mercedes-Benz they said was seen leaving the scene shortly after the shooting, and asked the driver to come forward.

“Look, we’re not going anywhere,” Tuggle said. “We’re going to be dogmatic in our approach to this investigation.”

On Twitter, local leaders expressed sadness over Hayes’ death, including Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous, attorney and former state’s attorney candidate Ivan Bates and Pastor Westley West.

A GoFundMe page for Hayes’ family has raised over $11,000 as of this writing.

Brandon Weigel

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