Baltimore recorded its 294th homicide of the year yesterday when a West Baltimore teen-ager was gunned down during an argument outside a nightclub in the 2100 block of Edmondson Ave.
About four hours earlier, another city man became the city's 293rd homicide when he was fatally shot during a confrontation with several men in the 5200 block of Elmer Ave. in Pimlico.
With a week left in 1990, city police fear that Baltimore will see at least 300 homicides committed before 1991 arrives.
In 1989, police had recorded 256 homicides at this date, and 262 were listed for the entire year.
Police say the number of people slain this year in the city is the highest since 1972, when the toll was 330.
In 1971, 323 people were slain in the city. There actually were 353 violent deaths that year, but police termed 30 of them "justifiable homicides" and did not include them in the final total. These were committed by police officers in the line of duty or people who killed in self-defense.
At the time, police officials attributed the high number of homicides in the two years to the easy availability of cheap unregistered handguns. Some called for the reinstitution of the death penalty.
Police blame many of the 1990 deaths on the proliferation of guns on city streets, turf wars over drugs, and the increasing tendency to settle disputes with bullets instead of words.
The city's latest homicide occurred about 4 a.m. yesterday a short distance from the Underground, a nightclub in the 2100 block of Edmondson Ave.
Police said the victim, Antwayne Demines, 19, of the 1800 block of Presstman St., had been inside the crowded nightclub earlier and asked a woman to dance with him.
Police said the woman declined and later argued with Demines as he was leaving the club.
The woman told a male friend about the argument, police said.
Outside, a man believed to be the friend argued with Demines in the 600 block of N. Pulaski St., then opened fire with a handgun. One bullet struck Demines in the head and another grazed a bystander, police said.
Demines was taken to the University of Maryland Medical Center, where he died shortly after 8 a.m.
The bystander, Larry Small, 19, of the 1300 block of Harlem Ave., was wounded in an ankle. He was treated at the same hospital and released.
Police said the woman from the club and the man who shot Demines drove off together in a car, and both remain at large today.
The man was described as being about 21 years old and about 6 feet tall, with a mustache.
The woman was wearing a brown coat and gold earrings and drove a black Mazda RX-7, police said.
In the first homicide yesterday, Steven Wilson, 25, of the 2500 block of Oakley Ave., was killed after he was approached by a group of men on Elmer Avenue around 12:05 a.m. He tried to run away and was shot four times.
Police said Wilson, wounded twice in the upper left back, once in the left leg and once in the right arm, died at the scene.
Wilson's death apparently was drug related, police said. They said officers are investigating a possible motive of retaliation for a quantity of drugs missing from a stash house in northwest Baltimore.
A bystander, Shawn Anderson, 18, of the 5200 block of Beaufort Ave., was shot in the right leg. He was treated at Sinai Hospital and released.
Homicide detective Christopher Graul said no arrests have been made in the Wilson homicide.