Injured woman says gunman met her

October 23, 1990|By Mark Bomsterand Joan Jacobson | Mark Bomsterand Joan Jacobson,Evening Sun Staff William B. Talbott contributed to this story.

Ursula Williams' movie date at the Inner Harbor turned into a horror show that left her in the hospital on her birthday with a bullet wound in the knee.

On her way to see "The Night of the Living Dead" Sunday night, Williams was hit in the knee by a stray bullet that apparently ricocheted off the pavement. She says she met the gunman minutes later in the back seat of a car that was taking her to the hospital.

But police gave a less dramatic account of the shooting that made no mention of a face-to-face encounter between victim and gunman.

The bizarre incident began at about 10 o'clock Sunday night when Williams -- who turned 20 yesterday -- was walking by the Community College of Baltimore's Harbor campus with her boyfriend, Fitzgerald H. Gray.

According to Williams, they heard gunshots coming from outside Fuddrucker's restaurant nearby, and saw a black Nissan with tinted windows drive up Marketplace toward Lombard Street. Williams and Gray said they saw five pedestrians standing in the area, and they thought the gunfire came from one or more of them.

"I think the guys were shooting at the car. They had no reason to be shooting at us," Williams said yesterday from her bed at Mercy Medical Center, where she underwent surgery. She was listed today in stable condition.

Williams and Gray, who are both Baltimore residents, began running up the median strip toward Lombard Street, she recounted.

"When I was running I felt this sting in my leg. That's when we stopped. He [Gray] said, 'You've been shot'," she recalled.

Williams said her boyfriend flagged down a passing car on Lombard Street. The man and woman in the car saw that Williams had been shot, and offered to drive the couple to the hospital.

As Williams and Gray got into the back seat of the stopped car, two mounted police officers rode up and the couple told the officers about the shooting. The officers then rode off, Gray said.

Then, Williams said, appearing as if from nowhere was a man who she would later determine was "the guy who shot me."

And, Williams said, he "got in the back seat. . . . He asked me if I was all right, where did I get shot at. Then he said, 'Did you see the guy?' "

At that point, Williams, who had not seen the person who fired the bullet that struck her, did not recognize the man who got in the car. As the car left for the hospital, she said, she described for him another man she had seen on the street.

She said the man in the car then said, " 'Oh, I know him.' And he jumped out."

Gray said that he also did not initially recognize the man who had gotten into the car with them.

"He said, 'You hurt? You hurt?'" recalled Gray. "He said 'I know who did it, I know who did it.' He said, 'I'll meet you up at the hospital.' I thought he was a concerned citizen."

Gray said the man told the driver to stop the car and hopped out.

About that time or shortly thereafter, according to the police, a mounted officer chased a man suspected of the shooting and saw him throw an object believed to be a gun into a trash container in Little Italy.

Police apprehended the man and recovered a .44-caliber Magnum semiautomatic handgun from the trash. Police said they found one round in the chamber, one in the clip and six shell casings on the sidewalk.

Gray said that it later dawned on him that the man who had gotten in the car with them was the same man police apprehended. Gray said the man in the car wore a baseball cap and a long, green-and-tan coat; he said police told him at the hospital that the man they arrested was wearing similar clothes.

Police identified the suspect as Michael Anthony Truesdale, 21, of West Baltimore, who has been charged with assault with intent to murder, using a handgun in the commission of a felony and possession of a handgun without a permit.

Truesdale was being held today at the City Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Williams was visited in the hospital yesterday by her parents, Lucille and Richard Williams.

"Things like this are bad in the city," Richard Williams said.

"Something has to be done about the situation with guns and drugs. If a lot of people had been down there, there could have been five or six people killed last night, or in the hospital," he said.

Ursula Williams also said she and her boyfriend had been robbed on Howard Street this past summer by five men with a gun and baseball bats.

After Sunday's incident, she said, her boyfriend told her, "We're not going out anymore. He said we'll rent videos and get some Monopoly games, play in the house. It seems like every time we go out, something happens."

Just before the shooting, Williams said, she was telling her boyfriend that the deserted Inner Harbor and the dark downtown streets reminded her of a movie.

"That's what I said to my friend," she recalled. "It seems like a movie. That's when they started shooting."

Gray said the incident makes him want to move out of the city.

"I remember one time I could go to the movies, go anywhere without worrying about being shot," he said. "I ain't used to all this shooting. I heard about it when I watched the news, but I never thought it would happen to me."

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