KILLADELPHIA: When You Kill A Man, You Kill The Hopes & Dreams Of All The Kids Who Counted On Him

BY MELISSA DRIBBEN INQUIRER STAFF WRITER “You’ve got to redeem yourselves,” Charles “Wayne” Baldwin used to tell the boys on his after-school football team when they messed up or broke down in tears of frustration.He used the phrase often. Enough that whenever the boys think of their coach, they willrafeeq.JPG hear him saying it. Telling them to stop feeling sorry for themselves, to learn from their mistakes and try again.

But the concept of redemption surely has become more complicated, and harder to comprehend, for the children who loved and respected Baldwin. Last Friday, he was killed when a stray bullet pierced his second-floor bedroom window and struck him in the head as he was getting dressed to go to work.

In a city with a blistering homicide rate, and more than 100 homicides so far this year, Baldwin’s death stood out – both by its random nature and location. He lived at 58th and Pine Streets, a middle-class neighborhood unused to such violence.

“If you’re not safe in your own home, you’re not safe anywhere,” Russell Grady said as he stood on the porch of his friend Baldwin’s house, where petunias bloomed in the window box and the street was so peaceful, you could hear the high-pitched plinking of silver wind chimes. [MORE]

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