A man whom police initially believed to have been killed in a car accident early yesterday on Edmondson Avenue apparently was a murder victim instead -- shot in the chest before the crash, homicide detectives said.
Police said they had no leads in the death of Kenneth Clausen, 33, of the 700 block of Ollea Drive, Ellicott City -- and didn't even know he had been shot until the autopsy was performed yesterday afternoon.
"There was a lot of blood, but we assumed it was from his head hitting the windshield," said Detective Donald Worden of the homicide unit.
Detective Worden said Mr. Clausen was shot once in the right side of his chest and died almost instantly.
Police say Mr. Clausen was driving his 1980 Toyota west at about 4 a.m. on Edmondson Avenue near the intersection of Payson Street when it crossed the center line and hit a 1985 Volvo driven by Yvette Satterfield of the 1300 block of Harlem Avenue in Baltimore, which was stopped at a traffic light in an eastbound lane.
Mr. Clausen's car caromed off the Volvo and crashed through a plate-glass window into Edmondson Liquors, in the 2000 block of Edmondson Avenue.
Ms. Satterfield was taken to University Hospital, where she was treated and released.
It was during an autopsy that a medical examiner found the bullet -- described as having come from a small-caliber handgun -- in Mr. Clausen's chest.
Detective Worden said police found no evidence in the car linking anyone to the shooting.
He would not comment on what kind of gun was used. He said the gun was not found. He also said he had no idea what Mr. Clausen was doing in the area, the scene of frequent drug trafficking.
"He has no connection to any drugs," Detective Worden said. "Maybe he was lost going home."
He also said no evidence was found to suggest that anyone might have been in the car with Mr. Clausen when he was shot.
In other violence in the city yesterday, a 31-year-old man was stabbed in the head with a kitchen knife during an argument with his roommate.
The man, whom police refused to identify pending notification of relatives, was listed in critical but stable condition last night at University Hospital.
Clifton Howard, 67, of the 900 block of Newington Avenue, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Police said they did not know what the argument was about.