He came to Baltimore from rural Pennsylvania to buy drugs. Now he’s dead and a 13-year-old boy is charged with murder

Phillip Jackson, The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — A Pennsylvania man who police said was gunned down by a 13-year-old boy in Southwest Baltimore struggled with addiction and was in the city to buy heroin to bring back home, the man’s family said.

Chad Michael Jordan, 40, of Jefferson, Pennsylvania, was shot and killed Friday after buying drugs near Carroll Park, Baltimore police said Wednesday. Police said they have charged an unnamed teenager with robbing and shooting Jordan and another man, who survived the attack.

They provided no information on the alleged shooter and said they will not while he is charged as a juvenile with murder and other charges. They did not provide a condition of the injured victim.

Under Maryland law, a 13-old-boy must be initially charged as a juvenile, although Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has the authority to ask a judge for permission to move the case to adult court since it involves a potential life sentence.

Mosby’s spokeswoman declined to comment Wednesday afternoon.

If convicted in juvenile court, a child must be released by the age of 21. An adult conviction, however, brings the full breadth of criminal penalties in Maryland, including life in prison.

While rare, murder charges against children 13 and younger in Maryland are not unheard of. Last year a 13-year-old Baltimore teen was charged with killing a 17-year-old boy. He remained in the juvenile system and his name and status of the case has never been made public.

On Wednesday, Jordan’s family acknowledged the difficulties facing the young boy who shot their brother while dealing with their own shock.

Even though Jordan had long struggled with a drug problem, he never drifted from his family, including several siblings and nieces and nephews, his sister, Myra Petlevich said Wednesday. She recalled him as a “favorite brother” in the family.

“He was wonderful. If I needed him right this second, he would be here. If he needed help he was there, he loved his nieces and nephews. He was the best uncle ever. He was caring, loving,” Petlevich, 42, said.

Court records in Pennsylvania show Jordan had several arrests for minor offenses, including traffic infractions and a forgery case over the summer.

“I imagine I am not the only parent in this situation. I feel sorry for everyone who has to go through this, it is not a good thing.”

Jordan attended high school in Green County, Pennsylvania, and worked in construction and ran a drywall business for some time in Morgantown, West Virginia, his father, John Jordan said.

He described his son growing up as a “good, smart kid” with a “good head on his shoulders,” who recently was trying to get on his feet in the construction business.

Now, Jordan and his daughter are struggling to deal with their loss.

“I imagine I am not the only parent in this situation. I feel sorry for everyone who has to go through this, it is not a good thing,” John Jordan said.

Even as they grieved, the Jordan family said it is also feeling for the young boy charged with the murder.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to this 13-year-old boy because their family is losing someone too,” Petlevich said. “But they will get to see him, we will never get to see Chad again.”

The fate of the young man may not be known for awhile, in large part because of the discretion provided to prosecutors in crimes involving children 13-years old and younger. Under Maryland law, children 14 and older are charged as adults in murder cases.

That happened earlier this year when two teenagers, including a 14-year-old boy, were charged with first-degree murder stemming from a July shooting of a man in Southeast Baltimore.

And in 2010, a Maryland teenager was charged as an adult for sexual assaulting and murdering his teacher at a Cheltenham Youth Facility when he was 13. The teenager was sentenced to 85 years in prison.

(Baltimore Sun reporter Tim Prudente contributed to this article.)