Inspiration for Omar on ‘The Wire’ dies at 58

Donnie Andrews, the onetime Baltimore stick-up artist who became the inspiration for the much-loved character Omar Little on the HBO series “The Wire,” has died. He was 58.

Andrews’ former attorney, Michael Millemann, says Andrews died Thursday in New York while undergoing surgery for a spontaneous rupture of his aorta.

Andrews was known for robbing drug dealers on Baltimore’s west side. He spent 18 years in prison for a murder he committed on behalf of a dealer.

David Simon, who later went on to create “The Wire,” would call Andrews in prison for context on crime news while he worked for The Baltimore Sun. Andrews was released in 2005 after lobbying from Simon and other supporters. Andrews worked as a writer on the show and played a small role.