man was shot and killed after being chased through Little Italy early today, and a 17-year-old was fatally shot a block from his West Baltimore home last night, police said.
Homicide detectives said the slayings brought the homicide toll to 175 so far this year.
Sheltry Holmes, 23, of the Flag House Courts public housing development in the 100 block of S. Exeter St., was shot in the back while running from gunmen at 12:09 a.m. today, police said.
At 9:55 p.m., several gunshots rang out in the 1700 block of W. Lanvale St., one of them striking Quanta Arnette, 17, in the head, police said. The shooting occurred one block from the victim's home in the 1700 block of W. Lafayette Ave.
Arnette was pronounced dead 1 1/2 hours later at the University of Maryland Medical Center, police said.
Police have no motive for the shooting and have not determined whether Arnette was the intended target, said Sgt. Terry McLarney, of the homicide unit.
A bystander was nicked in the leg by one of the bullets and was treated at University and released. Police did not give his name because he is a potential witness.
Police said they recovered a .380 caliber semiautomatic handgun from a kitchen trash can in the victim's home. Several spent shell casings were found in the living room of the house and outside on the sidewalk, police said.
In the more recent shooting, the aftermath of Holmes' death was a common one: Friends and relatives cried; curious onlookers stood around; lights shined from police cars and television cameras; a police helicopter hovered above.
But police say shootings are rare in Little Italy, which is on the southeastern edge of downtown Baltimore. "Generally, there's not too much of this here," said Sgt. Wesley M. Ormrad as police crime lab technicians scoured the area for evidence. "I think this might have originated at the Flag projects, and it's not as unusual an occurrence there."
Police said another man was with Holmes and they were chased by two or three men through Little Italy. A bullet caught Holmes in the back and he fell dead in a parking lot at Pratt and President streets. Police would not identify the person with Holmes.
Holmes' mother, Shirley Holmes, 43, arrived at the scene with tears streaming down her face. Another woman tried to comfort her, but she screamed as she looked at her son's covered body.
"Oh, no. . . . They told me it was my son," she wept.
She and her husband, Winston, 41, were told of the shooting when the telephone rang as they were about to go to bed in their Edmondson Village home.
Tears welled in Winston Holmes' eyes as he surveyed the scene and talked to officers, one of whom pulled a silver-colored .32-caliber handgun from underneath a blue portable toilet that was 3 feet away from Sheltry Holmes' Nike sneakers.
The shooting occurred next to the campaign headquarters of Joseph A. Scalia, a Republican candidate for mayor, at 815 E. Pratt St.
"We came out of headquarters and we saw a guy stumbling and coughing," Scalia said. "We didn't know he had been shot."
He lashed out at the administration of Democratic Mayor Kurt Schmoke for not aggressively fighting the drug trade.
"This is supposed to be one of the one of the safest neighborhoods and one of the safest intersections, President and Pratt," Scalia said. "If people get shot here, how about areas that are not as trendy, not as vogue?"