As questions linger in shooting death of York child, family seeks help
The family of a 5-year-old York boy killed in a gun accident is asking for help from the public to defray costs of the boy's funeral expenses as police continue to investigate the circumstances of the shooting.
Elias Dowlatram, of East Philadelphia Street, died Tuesday, Aug. 20, of a gunshot wound to the head, according to York County Coroner Pam Gay.
But how the shooting happened has not yet been determined, according to Officer Derek Hartman, York City Police spokesman.
Elias and a 7-year-old boy were in an SUV driven by Adrian Moye about 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, when Elias was shot, police have said.
Detectives have not yet made a final determination about who in the vehicle fired the gun, Hartman said on Thursday, Aug. 22.
According to charging documents, Moye told Elias' mother that the boys had the gun when Elias was shot.
Moye, 27, of the 800 block of Wallace Street, remains in York County Prison on felony charges of child endangerment, being a convicted felon in illegal possession of a firearm and cocaine possession with intent to distribute.
He is the boyfriend of Elias' mother and was watching the boys when Elias was killed, police said.
Police seized a loaded 9 mm handgun outside Elias' home and are trying to determine if it was hidden there by Moye, who initially carried the "lifeless" body of Elias to the front porch of the boy's home before carrying him back to a vehicle and driving away, according to charging documents.
Police said they also seized cocaine from inside the home, which was found along with documents belonging to Moye.
Moye has a half-dozen felony convictions in York County, including four guilty pleas to drug dealing and one guilty plea to conspiracy to deal drugs.
Remembering Elias: On Wednesday evening, family and friends of the little boy gathered at the corner of East Philadelphia and Pine streets to comfort each other and to release balloons in honor of Elias.
His family is asking for the public's help to fund funeral services for the little boy, his mother, Cassandra Dellinger, confirmed Thursday to The York Dispatch.
Elias was an energetic child who loved Spider-Man and wanted to grow up to be a police officer, "so he could get all the bad guys," according to a family post on both Facebook and a PayPal fundraising page.
Family described him as a tough cookie who had started to play football for the York Bears, but who also liked to "dress to impress."
He would be a kindergartner in the Central York School District, they said, having graduated from pre-K.
Elias was loved by many people who are grappling with the tragedy of his loss, according to his family's posts on social media, which thank members of the York community for their prayers and assistance.
To help Elias' family pay for funeral expenses, go to paypal.me/pools/c/8hyjzOWqF1 or donate through Cash App using the "cashtag," or keyword, $mouniae.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.