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Writing the Obit for the Character Who Died Last Night on ‘The Wire’

Looking for an appreciation of the character who met his unexpected end last night on The Wire? In deference to all the people who squawked when we revealed too much last time — and with one last grumpy reminder that if you're such a huge fan that you're upset by spoilers, just watch the show, people — we're putting our Fauxbit after the jump. Spoilers, obviously.

Omar Little dead the wire

Courtesy of HBO

Omar Little, a native of Baltimore, was gunned down yesterday buying a pack of Newports at a corner store. He was shot in the back of the head after robbing a stash house under Marlo Stanfield’s control.

Little, who was raised by his grandmother, was a rare independent operator in Baltimore’s drug trade. As he once testified in open court, Little robbed drug dealers for a living. He had a near-tolerant relationship with the Baltimore Police Department based on his adherence to a code that forbade violence against taxpayers and civilians. Little had recently retired and left Baltimore for warmer climes. He returned to the city after his mentor, Butchie, was murdered on rival Marlo Stanfield's orders. At the time of his death, Little was walking on a broken leg suffered when he fell several stories after a gunfight with the Stanfield crew. Despite a bounty placed on his head, Little was openly defying Stanfield, declaring on the streets of Baltimore that he was waiting for the kingpin's parry. That attack never came; instead, Little was killed by a young boy named Kenard — a boy who, playing cops and robbers in the neighborhood, was known to insist on portraying the legendary Omar.

Little was realistic about the dangers of his trade, especially given his status as a rogue operator. “The game’s out there, and it’s play or get played,” he once told the Baltimore police. Murdering Little had been an objective of various Baltimore drug gangs for several years, though all were unsuccessful until now. “You come at the king, you best not miss,” Little said to Barksdale soldier Wee-Bey Brice in a gunfight, and indeed, his war on the Stanfield operation had reached a new high; on his body, Baltimore Police found a list of names associated with Stanfield, believed to be a hit list.

A pioneer for black homosexual stickup men, Little was openly gay. A boyfriend, Brandon Wright, was tortured and murdered by associates of drug kingpin Avon Barksdale in 2002. Little has recently been linked romantically to Renaldo, a getaway-taxi driver. Little, 34, is survived by his grandmother and his imprisoned brother, “No Heart” Anthony. He eschewed profanity and enjoyed Greek mythology. His favorite cereal was Honey Nut Cheerios, and his favorite song was “The Farmer in the Dell.” —Aileen Gallagher