The boy shot dead in a West Baltimore rowhouse on Friday was 8-year-old Dylan King and his death is being treated as an “open active homicide investigation,” police said Wednesday morning.

Police had initially said the boy was 7 years old. Hours after officers found the boy’s body upstairs with a gunshot wound to the head in a rowhouse in the 2100 block of Presbury Street, Mayor Brandon Scott and Police Commissioner Michael Harrison called a press conference demanding that the citizens of the city take an active stake in the senseless killings that have plagued the city throughout yet another year and intensified during the holiday season.

As of yet, police have offered few details on King’s death, other than saying they had questioned an 18-year-old who was also inside the house when officers responded.

A fundraiser started by someone who described themselves as a King family representative Tuesday, before police named King, shows multiple pictures of a grinning young boy and describes King as “the sweetest child you could ever meet.”

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“His silly personality and welcoming snagga (sic) tooth smile could warm and cheer anybody up,” the fundraiser said. “His care for others and the love he sent out into the world was infectious and our world is forever darkened with him gone.”

The posting described King has having eight brothers and three sisters, as well as 20 first cousins “that were inseparable with a bond that could never be broken but this tragedy has shaken the family terribly.”

This story may be updated.

Ben Conarck is a criminal justice reporter for The Baltimore Banner. Previously, he covered healthcare and investigations for the Miami Herald and criminal justice for the Florida Times-Union.

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