Police say the shooting death of 18-year-old Phillip S. Atchison on Edmondson Avenue over the weekend was drug-related because several vials of suspected crack cocaine were found at the scene.
A gunman is believed to have slain Atchison, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and wounded three others about 9:30 p.m. Saturday in the 1800 block of Edmondson Ave. in a territorial dispute between drug dealers, homicide Detective Robert Bowman said yesterday.
Wounded were Rodney Norfort, 16, also of Brooklyn, N.Y., who was shot in the arm; Malcolm Sample, 25, of the 500 block of N. Gilmor St., who was shot several times in the right hip and leg; and Robert Davis, 20, of the 1400 block of Presstman St., was shot once in the right hand.
They were treated at area hospitals. Davis reportedly was released and Sample and Norfort remained hospitalized, police said.
At the scene, police found 18 shell casings from two semi-automatic handguns.
Police believe Atchison and Norfort came to Baltimore with plans to sell drugs here, but upset the gunman by selling in an area he considered his territory, Bowman said.
The gunman is described as a black man, 5 feet 8 inches tall, who wore a Boston Celtics team jacket. Police are not sure whether the killer lived in the area. Bowman said several suspects are under investigation.
Residents on the block said they heard as many as 15 gunshots. "I jumped out of the bed and didn't look out my window until the police got here," one woman said.
Drug-related shootings are common in this West Baltimore neighborhood and drug sales go on "all night and all day seven days a week," another woman said.
The dealers, usually young adults and teen-agers, often stand on the street and yell, "Get your ready-rock, get your ready-rock!" to passers-by on Edmondson Avenue, she said. Ready-rock is another term for crack, she said.
The area where the shooting occurred has been plagued by drug dealers from other parts of the city, the woman said.