Four men held in gun shop robbery, killing Police seek shooter, 3 others

43 weapons taken in bold raid.

September 12, 1991|By Alisa Samuels and Joe Nawrozki | Alisa Samuels and Joe Nawrozki,Evening Sun Staff William B. Talbott and Richard Irwin contributed to this story.

Four men were charged and four others, including the suspected triggerman, were still being sought in connection with the shooting death of a northeast Baltimore gun shop owner and the wounding of a customer during a robbery yesterday.

Of 43 guns stolen, police have recovered eight. But 35 guns, including the murder weapon, remained missing and police believe they have been distributed or sold.

Homicide detectives said formal charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, theft and handgun violations were filed against the four men after they were taken from police headquarters to the Western and Central District stations.

Those charged are Ulysses Grant Scott, 22, of the 1800 block of Thomas Ave.; Malcolm Michael Bradford, 21, of the 2300 block of Brookfield Ave.; his brother, Keith Bradford, also 21, of the 2900 block of Pendoll Rd., and Rodney Demon Brown, 23, of the 1200 block of Clendenin St.

Police are seeking four others, including the shooter, who they believe were involved in the crime. Police interviewed four men yesterday, besides the four charged, but released them.

Killed by a blast from a sawed-off shotgun was Charles E. "Eddie" Scheuerman, 53, the owner of the Northeast Gun Shop in the 4900 block of Belair Road. A customer, Michael Berman, 42, an electronics salesman who lives in the 11700 block of Morning Mist Lane in Columbia, was wounded in the upper back with a sawed-off .22-caliber rifle.

Berman was listed in stable condition today at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Among the weapons recovered was an Uzi semi-automatic, which can be converted easily to full automatic, and other revolvers of various caliber, including a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun.

Keith Bradford and Brown were arrested in Brown's house in the 1200 block of Clendenin St. in the Penn North area of West Baltimore shortly after the robbery, police spokesman Dennis Hill said. Two other men also were arrested at the house and later questioned, but police released them after determining they were not involved.

Malcolm Bradford was arrested several blocks away, in the 2300 block of Brookfield Ave., and Scott turned himself in at police headquarters last night, police said.

Police said Scheuerman, who had owned the gun store for at least 20 years, died shortly after being taken to Francis Scott Key Medical Center. He had suffered a shotgun blast to the chest and right hand.

The robbery occurred at 11:40 a.m. after two men entered the gun shop and began looking at handguns and other weapons on display.

Moments later, two more men entered the shop.

"As the owner was about to ask 'May I help you?' he was shot," Hill said.

Within seconds after shooting Scheuerman, a robber shot Berman. As Berman played dead, the robbers stepped over him and smashed the glass showcases and placed the weapons in a green duffel bag.

After grabbing 43 weapons, police said, the four men ran from the store and jumped into a white 1981 Oldsmobile Cutlass with Maryland plates. Another car was also used in the getaway, police said.

"It obviously was a pre-planned robbery," Hill said. "They intended to go in the shop and shoot anybody in the store."

The robbers apparently fired their weapons without warning because they believed Scheuerman would be armed, a robbery detective said. "Even if he were armed, he never had a chance," the detective said.

When the suspects emerged from the getaway car at the Clendenin St. address, witnesses told police, they gave each other "high fives," a gesture of triumph.

Witnesses described the Oldsmobile to police, and the description was broadcast over the police radio.

About an hour later, Northeastern District Officer Chester Wisniewski spotted the car in the 1200 block of Clendenin St., between Druid Hill Avenue and McCulloh Street.

When the officers spotted the Oldsmobile, "we slammed on the brakes," said Sgt. Rick Barger of the Northeastern District. By that time, the men had run into a house.

Witnesses told police that one man threw a handgun on the roof, police said. A helicopter later spotted the weapon.

The Handgun Enforcement Arrest Team of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the city's Quick Response Team were among the units called. They arrested the men by early afternoon and secured the two-story, dilapidated brick house. Two women and several children also were inside. Members of the Quick Response Team reported seeing weapons inside the house.

Barger pulled one child from the front hallway of the house and QRT team members led a woman and a small child to safety after the house was secured.

Before police searched for stolen weapons in the house, they needed a search warrant, which took several hours to obtain.

During that time, the Oldsmobile, a red Volkswagen Fox and a maroon Ford Escort believed to belong to the suspects were towed to police headquarters for processing.

At 6:30 p.m., with warrant in hand, authorities searched the house.

About 15 minutes later, a fire truck arrived and authorities used the ladder to climb to the roof to recover the .45-caliber handgun.

About 45 minutes later, authorities left the house with handguns, ammunition and magazines for ammunition in brown paper bags.

Hill said police didn't believe the robbery was connected to a string of recent robberies of gun shops in Maryland, Virginia and Washington.

Outside the house, police used yellow tape to block off Druid Hill Avenue. Dozens of curious onlookers talked about the murder-robbery.

"Why didn't they break in the store after it closed, or fire in the ceiling?" said Mahlon Adams, 28, a store owner who was getting his car washed nearby. "It's sad. It doesn't make any sense."

In the middle second-floor bedroom of the Clendenin Street house, one officer saw an artist's sketch of a young man holding a semiautomatic handgun. "Shoot At Will," the sketch announced.

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