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Donnie Andrews, a reformed stickup man whose story inspired the character Omar Little on the hit HBO drama The Wire, died late Thursday or early Friday in Manhattan at the age 58.

NY Times reports:

He died of complications during emergency heart surgery, said Michael Millemann, one of his lawyers. He lived in Baltimore County, Md.

Mr. Andrews was known for drug dealing and audacious robberies in West Baltimore in the 1970s and early ’80s. In September 1986, he agreed to kill a drug dealer for a rival to support his heroin habit. It was his first murder.

Andrews soon after turned himself in, unable to deal with the guilt.

The Wire character, Omar Little was a thief who terrorized drug dealers. Mr. Andrews also wrote for the show and appeared as one of Omar’s allies.

In his life after prison, Mr. Andrews worked odd jobs, counseled gang members,helped found a nonprofit group to spread his message in Baltimore, provided information for murder investigations, counseled drug addicts, before being released in 2005.

Our prayers and condolences are with the Andrews family.


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