Ex-basketball star's death investigated 19-year-old -- with gun in hand -- is found shot dead in a Woodlawn yard.

October 09, 1991|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Evening Sun Staff

A story Wednesday about the death of Carlos L. Paul incorrectly reported that he had not gone to college. In fact, Paul was enrolled in Catonsville Community College.

The Evening Sun regrets the errors.

An autopsy and testing will be done over the next few days to help investigators learn more about the death of Carlos L. Paul, a former basketball star at Woodlawn High School who was found shot to death in the back yard of a Woodlawn home.

The body of the 19-year-old was found about 7:20 a.m. yesterday behind a house in the 3100 block of Essex Road with a bullet wound to the head, Baltimore County police said. In Paul's hand was a .38-caliber revolver containing one spent shell and one live one, police said.


Police said neighbors heard what sounded like a gunshot about 9:45 p.m. Monday, but saw nothing and didn't investigate until yesterday morning.

They then found the body of the teen-ager, who lived in the 1200 block of Brigadoon Trail in Catonsville, police said. He was dressed in black with white tennis shoes.

Police spokesman Sgt. Stephen Doarnberger said the investigation would try to determine if the wound was self-inflicted, a homicide or an accident.

Towson High School Principal Louis J. Sergi, who was principal at Woodlawn last year, said Paul, 5-foot-10 and muscular, was a spectacular basketball player.

"He could jump out of the gym," Sergi said. But Paul's grades were a constant problem, Sergi said, because of a lack of self-discipline.

Halfway through last school year, Sergi said, Paul's mother moved to the Eastern Shore, and the player moved in with a teammate's family until he graduated in June.

Sergi said he thought Paul might not have made it to graduation without constant prodding from his basketball coach, Rod Norris, daily chats with Sergi at lunchtime about the importance of graduating and help from teammates.

Norris, "was like a father to him," Sergi said, picking Paul up when he was late or missed practice, always nudging him to do his work.

His best friend, Larry Bacon, with whom he was living, kept an eye on him, too.

"He was a delightful kid, very extroverted, always flirting with the girls," Sergi said.

"Everybody liked him," Sergi said.

Sergi said Paul had to perform for periodic progress reports on his grades, and the coach benched him several times for poor grades to keep him working. Sergi said he tried to tell Paul that he could go to college if he wanted, to no avail.

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