2 charged in fatal ambush-shootout 70 shots fired in slaying tied to fight over drug turf.

April 17, 1991|By Joe Nawrozki and William B. Talbott | Joe Nawrozki and William B. Talbott,Evening Sun Staff

Two cousins were charged today with last week's slaying of a West Baltimore man in an ambush where at least 70 shots were exchanged and four houses and seven cars were damaged by gunfire.

Ronnie A. Hunt Jr., 23, of the 2500 block of W. Baltimore St., and his cousin, Harry Johnson 3rd, 20, of the 2400 block of Garrison Blvd., were arrested about 9 o'clock last night at Johnson's house. After questioning by homicide detectives at police headquarters, both were charged with first-degree murder and use of a handgun in the commission of a felony.

Police said a search of Johnson's home uncovered a unique semiautomatic handgun that fires .40-caliber bullets. That weapon was loaded and another 17-round magazine was recovered.

Detective Harry Edgerton said the killing arose out of a territorial dispute over local cocaine trafficking in and around the first block of N. Kossuth St., where the ambush occurred.

The person killed in the shooting April 10 was Sheldon Simon, 23, described by friends and relatives as a man who enjoyed bodybuilding and wanted to become a rap music performer and songwriter.

But police said there was another side to Simon, who waswearing a bulletproof vest and was armed with a 9mm H&K semiautomatic handgun and an Uzi-type machine pistol when found shot to death outside his Kossuth Street apartment. Both weapons held 30-round magazines, police said.

Edgerton said Simon, whose only cover during the 2:10 a.m. shootout was a bush, was shot three times in the head and once in the leg. Simon was pronounced dead at the scene.

No one else was injured.

Police were also investigating whether the Kossuth Street shooting is connected to a similar incident Feb. 20 at North Avenue and Pulaski Street, in which two alleged cocaine dealers were killed.

Detectives are continuing to search for other weapons used in last week's shooting.

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