Crofton father shot dead in Charles Village holdup

December 30, 1990|By James Bock | James Bock,Sun's metropolitan staff Eileen Canzian and Rafael Alvarez

A 25-year-old Crofton engineer and father of two little girls pleaded in vain for his life before two teen-agers forced him to lie down on a snowbank and shot him to death in a Charles Village parking lot, Baltimore police said yesterday.

David Gordon of the 1600 block of Carlyle Drive in Crofton was killed after handing over his wallet containing $60 and credit cards to two youths as he was about to drive home from work at an engineering firm Friday evening, homicide detectives said.

"Don't kill me, don't kill me, I've got kids, don't kill me," Mr. Gordon pleaded after agreeing to hand over his wallet in a desolate company parking lot at North Calvert and 24th streets, according to a police account of the holdup.

But he was shot once as he was getting out of his 1982 Honda before handing over the wallet and again after he was told to lie down on the snowbank, said Detective Gerald A. Goldstein of the city homicide squad.

"The second one was for fun," the detective said.

NB Two youths, O'Donald Johnson, 15, of the 1700 block of Federal

Street, and Antonio Maurice Little, 16, of the 1600 block of Rickenbacker Road in Essex, were arrested Friday and charged as adults yesterday with first-degree murder, armed robbery, assault and handgun violations.

They were denied bail by a District Court commissioner and were being held last night at the Central District lockup.

A bullet recovered from Mr. Gordon's body as doctors at the Johns Hopkins Hospital were trying to save him matched a .22-caliber handgun the youths were carrying after they were arrested for allegedly holding up another man at gunpoint later Friday, Detective Goldstein said.

Mr. Gordon, a blond-haired man of medium build, was a University of Maryland graduate who had worked for 2 1/2 years at Whitman, Requardt and Associates helping design such projects the new Marine Mammal Pavilion of the National Aquarium.

The six-story, columned stone building of Whitman, Requardt, a 75-year-old firm with 230 employees, is an anchor of the lower Charles Village neighborhood where the shooting occurred.

The building is in a busy uptown business district of government, law and other professional offices, and the parking lot a block away is on a residential street of row houses.

Mr. Gordon was described by C. Richard Lortz, a partner in the firm at 2315 St. Paul Street, as an outstanding young structural engineer with "tremendous potential" and as a "very gentle person."

"It's just the most horrible thing. He was so well liked, so promising, had such a beautiful family. It was just a perfect situation," Mr. Lortz said.

"Devastating is the only way one can describe it," said John S. Maynes, another partner, who was one of the few people remaining at the firm's offices when the shooting occurred. "It's totally senseless."

Mr. Gordon's wife, Renee, her father, Mr. Gordon's parents and a younger brother were at the hospital along with Mr. Lortz when Mr. Gordon was pronounced dead at 9:35 p.m. Friday, Mr. Lortz said.

Mr. Gordon is also survived by two daughters, Katie, 4, and Megan, an infant, neighbors said. The family has lived in an apartment in Crofton, in Anne Arundel County, about three years.

"They're the nicest couple in the world. I've never seen a happier marriage," said a neighbor, who would not give her name.

"He was the kind of guy who always checked on other people to make sure they were OK. When a woman was jumped around here about three months ago, he came down and told me to be careful."

Mrs. Gordon and her daughters have left the apartment temporarily to stay with relatives. A Christmas wreath with candy canes hung on the door yesterday.

Detectives gave this account of the slaying:

Mr. Gordon left Whitman, Requardt's offices at St. Paul and 24th streets after working a little late Friday evening and headed for his car at the far end of the firm's parking lot at the northeast corner of Calvert and 24th streets.

About 5:50 p.m., just after Mr. Gordon had got in the car, two youths approached him. One asked for the time, and the other showed a handgun and told him to hand over his money. Mr. Gordon offered to give them his wallet.

He was beginning to get out of his car to do so when the first shot was fired. He handed over the wallet, pleading with the youths not to kill him.

He was told to lie down on the snowbank and was shot again. One bullet went through Mr. Gordon's left arm and entered his chest. The other lodged in his left abdomen.

The youths fled.

Gravely wounded, Mr. Gordon managed to stagger 200 feet to Calvert Street and collapsed in the street a few feet from the curb. A neighbor called police.

Mr. Gordon was able to give officers a sketchy description of his assailants before paramedics took him to Hopkins Hospital.

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