Boy, 13, slain for ringing doorbells Fugitive charged with fatally shooting prankster.

December 09, 1991|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Evening Sun Staff

A 13-year-old boy was fatally shot last night after he and several friends angered a man while ringing doorbells in West Baltimore as a prank, police said.

Three men also were shot and killed in separate incidents in the city yesterday, police said.

Police said the youngster, Rubin Lawson, of the 900 block of Edmondson Ave., was shot while ringing doorbells in the first block of N. Smallwood St. The youths would run away when occupants answered the doors or look out of windows, police said.

Shortly before 8 p.m., the youths rang the bell more than once at 28 N. Smallwood St. and apparently taunted the owner, William Cecil Brandon Sr., before darting away, police said.

The bell-ringing was repeated, and the occupant's son, William Cecil Brandon Jr., 49, of the 600 block of N. Brice St., who was visiting, opened the door, grabbed Lawson, pressed a handgun to the youth's chest and pulled the trigger, police said.

The mortally wounded youth was rushed to the University of Maryland Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead about 8:35 p.m. in the emergency room, police said.

Police said they interviewed the elder Brandon and at least one of Lawson's companions and then charged the younger Brandon with first-degree murder and using a handgun to commit a felony. The suspect was being sought today.

Shortly after the shooting, the younger Brandon was seen walking down an alley between the 2000 blocks of W. Fayette and W. Baltimore streets wiping what appeared to be a gun with a cloth, police said.

The shooting of Lawson reminded area police of the slaying on Jan. 4, 1980, of Albert Kahl, 18, of the 7100 block of Eastbrook Ave., Baltimore County, who was shot by Roman G. Welzant, then 68, of the 400 block of Overview Ave., after Kahl and other teen-agers threw snowballs at Welzant's house.

Six months after the shooting, a jury found Welzant not guilty of second-degree murder.

About three hours after Lawson was shot, firefighters responded to a truck fire in front of 26 N. Smallwood St. Police said the truck was owned by the younger Brandon and reportedly was set ablaze by unknown people in retribution for the killing of Lawson.

Another homicide occurred at a bus stop in the 3800 block of Reisterstown Road and started out as an attempted armed robbery, police said.

Police said the victim, Grant Holley, 46, of the 2500 block of

Druid Park Drive, was sitting in the enclosed bus stop with his girlfriend and her 2-year-old daughter about 10:30 p.m. when a man entered, pulled out a sawed-off shotgun and announced a holdup.

Police said the woman quickly got up and fled with her daughter to the safety of the street.

Holley resisted the robber and was shot once in the head.

Police said the gunman fled without robbing Holley, who was rushed to Sinai Hospital and he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Shortly after 5:30 p.m. yesterday, Albert O. Munson, 32, of the 3400 block of W. Garrison Ave., was standing in the 1700 block of W. Fayette St. when he was gunned down by one of several men driving by in a blue Ford Escort, police said.

Police said Munson was hit at least once in the buttock with a large-caliber semiautomatic handgun. He was pronounced dead about 6:15 p.m. at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Police said a bystander, Dominic Hawkins, 31, of the 900 block of Bennett Place, was walking toward a bus stop when shots erupted from the passing Ford Escort.

Hawkins told police he ran onto the front steps of a house and was hit by a bullet that first struck the wall.

Police said Hawkins was taken to Bon Secours Hospital, where he was treated for a minor wound to his neck and released.

At the scene, police found five spent shell casings from a semiautomatic handgun and fragments from at least two bullets.

About 2:50 a.m. yesterday, Preston Darnell Key, 21, of the 400 block of N. Madeira St., was talking with another man in front of 920 N. Wolfe St. when a gunman emerged from a walkway between two houses and shot Key several times.

Police said Key was taken by ambulance to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he died a short time later.

Police said they know of no motive in the Munson and Key shootings.

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