BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One week ago, 7-year-old Taylor Hayes was shot while riding in a family friend’s car on Edmondson Ave. in southwest Baltimore, and her uncle tells WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren the community’s support has kept her loved ones strong while the little girl remains hospitalized at Shock Trauma.
“Taylor is doing great. She’s still with us. We’re still here, still praying,” Taylor’s uncle, Mark, told Hellgren.
He did not want to discuss specifics of her medical treatment, but wanted the public to know she is making progress.
“I have heard some people call her the ‘Baby of Baltimore,'” he said.
The acting police commissioner vowed to leave “no stone unturned” in the search for the shooter. At her weekly press conference at City Hall, Mayor Catherine Pugh called the shooting “unconscionable.”
Taylor’s uncle said, “My main focus is on Taylor. The justice system–they can deal with that.”
This week, police released CitiWatch camera video of a white Mercedes-Benz CLA near the scene that they believe is connected to the case. They say Taylor’s shooting was not a random act of violence and revealed there was a loaded gun in the Honda where Taylor was a passenger.
The bullet went through the trunk as she sat in the back seat.
The driver of that Honda, Darnell Holmes, is being held without bail on gun and drug charges. Police are looking into whether someone else in her car may have gotten into a shootout with the Mercedes.
Commissioner Gary Tuggle says there were shell casings from two guns found at the scene, including from a weapon discovered in the Honda’s glove box. Police say they also found heroin and a digital scale in Holmes’ car.
Taylor’s uncle said her mom wants the public to know Taylor “is a strong young lady…to go through this, she’s strong.”
He said the family was concerned after they saw several online fundraising pages not affiliated with them.
“We don’t want other people getting donations,” he added.
There is a $4,000 reward being offered in the case. People with tips may call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCKUP.
Taylor’s uncle said the family has received messages of encouragement from around the world. “It just lets us know there are still people out there who care.”