City man arrested in 2 slayings 3-year-old girl, man died in shooting

September 07, 1991|By Roger Twigg P

Baltimore police have arrested a suspect in the Aug. 17 street shooting that claimed the lives of a 3-year-old girl and a man in Southwest Baltimore.

Edward Pierre Bland, 21, of the 3400 block of Springdale Avenue, West Baltimore, was arrested about 11:30 a.m. Thursday after a four-hour stakeout by homicide detectives at a house in the 2900 block of Garrison Boulevard, just blocks from where the shooting occurred, said Dennis S. Hill, a police spokesman.

Police said they had delayed announcing the arrest for fear that it would jeopardize the arrest of a second suspect, Argee Edward Freeman, 21, of the 5200 block of West North Avenue, who remains at large.

Both men were charged in warrants with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of assault with intent to murder and use of a handgun in the commission of a felony, Mr. Hill said.

The shootings happened late on a Saturday night as four people, including the child, were gathered on the steps of a house in the 2100 block of Garrison Boulevard.

Two men walked up to the group and heated words were exchanged, according to police.

The two men drew semiautomatic handguns and pointed them first at 20-year-old Bryant Jones of the 2300 block of Allendale Road. He was shot in the left arm as he started to run north on Garrison Boulevard.

Then the gunmen opened fire on the others, striking 3-year-old Shanika Day in the chest as she sat on the lap of Steven Allen Cochran, 19. Mr. Cochran, of the 500 block of Laurens Street, was wounded in the chest, abdomen and side.

Police said the girl's mother, Mona Lisa McClain, 19, of the 1900 block of Chelsea Road, was shot in the right knee as she grabbed her mortally wounded child and ran down the street screaming.

The two assailants then jumped into a 1990 Toyota 4-Runner, which police said was recovered at the time of Mr. Bland's arrest.

Detectives said they have been unable to establish a motive.

On July 9, a little more than a month before Shanika was killed, a 6-year-old named Tiffany Smith was shot to death in just about the same way -- a victim of violence intended for someone else as she played in the 1800 block of North Rosedale Street near her home.

The slayings occurred less than a mile from each other in West Baltimore neighborhoods plagued by drug trafficking and the violence that accompanies it.

After Tiffany's death, residents undertook to fight crime with a wide-ranging campaign to make their community safe. About six weeks later, Shanika Day died the same way.

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