BALTIMORE — “It’s been rough. I wish I could call him. See what he’s up to. See what’s new, tell him what’s going on with me, but I can’t do that. I can’t do it.”
Instead she fights back the tears every time she thinks of her dad. Autumn Harris was just 9 when her father was murdered 23 years ago.
“It was after 12. I was laying in the bed and there was this loud banging on the door. I didn’t hear what was said but I remember my mom saying come on we have to get up. She went to the next door neighbors and all I remember her saying was keep them away from the news, keep them away from the TV.”
February 28, 1997 Barry Harris was shot in the back as he walked from Monford and Chester Streets. He was just leaving a gig.
“He was a special police officer during the day at Rite Aid and at night he was a DJ. He had gigs. He was a part of 92Q and part of V-103 with Frank Skee.
Remembering his favorite song “Brighter Days,” Autumn says her dads future should have been bright too.
“You could tell he enjoyed it. He had fun.”
“DJ Dragon Cutts.”
Popular Baltimore DJ Konan says he met Dragon Cutts as he was just making a name for himself.
“After watching him and how he worked the crowd, he was just starting off and stuff but the vibe he had, I kinda took to him and we started doing some stuff together. He was very humble. He was always giving but he was willing to learn and listen and do things to get better.”
Baltimore Police don’t believe the DJ was targeted, simply the victim of an attempted robbery. There were never any suspects or arrests.
“Rumors back then someone called the radio station an anonymous tip saying a family member did it. It was rumored that an old friend of his did it. We just don’t know.”
“It was all over Baltimore because people loved him. They were saying it was as small as $5 or something like that.”
With children of her own now, Cahlie the youngest of three girls who’ll never know her grandfather, Autumn wants answers and justice for herself and her siblings.
“It just wasn’t right. I could accept the fact if he was sick, or a car accident. I could accept a death in that manner, but for you to take him away.”
Autumn is 32, the age her dad was, when he was murdered.
“I want this killer to know he hasn’t been forgotten.”
Cherishing time with her youngest and remembering years lost with her dad….Autumn’s on a mission to keep the music playing and the memories alive until an arrest brings brighter days for her family.
“He was our father. He had grandchildren that he didn’t get to see. It’s just very important because me and my sisters need closure, and even if we don’t find out in my lifetime at least I tried. I tried.”
This story was originally published Aug. 18, 2020, by Kelly Swoope of WMAR in Baltimore.