Mark Douglas Edmondson, a disc jockey at WMIX-106.5 FM, was found shot to death early today in the living room of his basement apartment in northeast Baltimore.
Police said Edmondson, 24, was killed by a single bullet that passed through his neck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators said they believed Edmondson shot himself accidentally while playing with a 9mm automatic handgun, which he reportedly kept for his protection.
The gun was recovered by police. They said one shot had been fired.
Police said they had received a call about 7:45 a.m. from a man at the apartment in the 6900 block of Harford Road in Hamilton. The man, described as a close friend who "periodically" stayed with Edmondson, told police Edmondson had shot himself.
The unidentified man was taken to police headquarters to provide investigators with a statement.
Based on that statement, police said they believed the two men had been drinking whiskey together in the apartment, and Edmondson was playing with the handgun when it accidentally discharged.
Initial inconsistencies in the man's statement were attributed to his emotional distress.
Edmondson's body was taken to the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore for an autopsy.
Robert J. Lind, general manager at WMIX, was unaware of Edmondson's death when contacted today.
"Good lord, we have not even heard of that," he said.
He said Edmondson had worked at the station since December 1987, and had a 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. show called "Love Songs," a program of love songs and dedications.
Lind said later that employees who saw Edmondson during his shift last night described him as "chipper; he was up." A replay of the tape of last night's show revealed nothing unusual, he said.
He said it was "not evidently atypical for him to go home after a show and be up for a while. He slept in the daytime."
"I've just hired a grief counselor to come into the station this afternoon," Lind said. "There's so many different kinds of emotions that are associated with this kind of thing, and most people are just pretty much in a state of shock."
Edmondson was "well-liked by his co-workers, very diligent, very attentive to his show," Lind said. "He was sensitive, caring, great with his fan mail. This is just unbelieveable."
Some station employees were aware that Edmondson kept a gun "purely for self-protection," Lind said, but he didn't know whether any specific incident might have prompted him to buy it.
A neighbor, who lives in an apartment above Edmondson's, told police today she heard noises from Edmondson's apartment early today, at perhaps 3 or 4 a.m., then another noise about 6:45 a.m. "like someone may have fallen, or something fell over."