Gunman, bystander die in shooting Second gunman wounded. Bystander slain on steps.

September 23, 1991|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Evening Sun Staff Alisa Samuels contributed to this story.

An apparent drug-related shootout between two men in East Baltimore yesterday afternoon left two men dead -- one of the shooters and a man struck by a stray bullet as he sat on the front steps of a nearby house, city police said.

The other gunman was wounded, police said.

At the shooting scene in the 1500 block of N. Bethel St., officers found several plastic bags containing suspected cocaine and believe the shooting was over drugs.

Police said the dead men were David McCrae, 32, of the 1500 block of Holbrook St., identified as one of the shooters, and Titus Austin, 31, of the 1100 block of Brentwood Ave., the bystander.

The wounded man, Willie Wells, 36, of the 1000 block of McAleer Court, was hospitalized for a gunshot wound to the left wrist. Police said and charges against him were pending his release from the hospital.

Police had this account of the shooting:

McCrae and Wells accosted each other in the 1500 block of N. Bethel St. about 1:30 p.m. yesterday and began firing at each other with handguns.

Between four and seven shots were fired.

Both men were hit by bullets.

After the shooting ended, police arrived within moments.

Officers found Austin, who had been sitting on the front steps of a nearby house. He was face down on the pavement, dead from a bullet wound to the head.

Police said Austin had nothing to do with the shootout. It was unclear how far he was from the two armed men when the gunfire broke out.

McCrae staggered from the scene and was found in an alley near a playground. He was taken by ambulance to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he died during surgery.

Police said the wounded Wells was able to make it on his own to the hospital's emergency room, where he was treated and admitted in good condition. He was being held under police guard.

After he is released from the hospital, Wells faces charges in McCrae's death along with handgun charges, police said.

Investigators said it was not yet known from whose gun the bullet was fired that killed Austin.

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