Gunfire at street corner injures 4 Police investigating drug link in West Baltimore shooting.

January 10, 1992|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Evening Sun Staff Joe Nawrozki contributed to this story.

Four people, including two women who were about to enter a church, were shot last night at a West Baltimore intersection, city police said.

None of the four victims sustained life-threatening injuries in the shooting at Baltimore and Mount streets, said Lt. James Carnes, of the Western District.

There were several people at the intersection, one of West Baltimore's busiest, shortly after 9:30 p.m. when a man in dark clothing took aim at someone and cranked off at least a dozen rounds, police said.

They said the nature of the shooting -- at one person while others were in the line of fire -- made it appear that the incident was drug-related. Police had no firm motive, however, Carnes said.

Police said that afterward the gunman took advantage of the confusion and cries for help to escape.

Last night's incident was similar to one Dec. 26 in which six people were shot, including two women who were killed.

While no one was killed last night, the multiple shooting came in the wake of a dozen homicides that have struck the city in a year just 10 days old. Baltimore already was coming off two years of 300-plus homicides, and Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke has announced plans to ask the state legislature for money to confront the problem.

Two of the women, Mae Newman, 48, of the 200 block of N. Broadway, and Frances Clark, 23, of the 1600 block of W. Fayette St., were about to enter the Mount Nebo Holy Church at 1700 W. Baltimore St. at 9:36 p.m. when a man standing across the street opened fire with a 9mm semiautomatic handgun, Carnes said.

Clark and Newman were seconds from the relative safety of the church when they heard the first gunshots coming from behind them, Carnes said.

One of the bullets hit Newman in the right ankle, Carnes said, and two bullets hit Clark in the left ankle and right shoulder.

Both women fell to the pavement and were cared for by churchgoers who rushed outside after the shooting stopped.

Newman was admitted to the University of Maryland Medical Center where she was listed in good condition. Clark was discharged, a hospital spokeswoman said.

A 17-year-old, Clarence Woodley, of the 1600 block of W. Baltimore St., also was shot in the left arm as he was walking past the church, Carnes said.

Woodley, ran three blocks to Bon Secours Hospital in the 2000 block of W. Baltimore St., where he was taken into the emergency room and treated for his injury, police said. He was later released.

The fourth victim was a Forest Park-area woman who was driving past the scene in her car, police said.

Dana Holt, 22, of the 4100 block of Barrington Road, was hit in the left leg by a bullet that penetrated the door of her car as she drove through the intersection.

Holt drove on to Sinai Hospital, where she was treated and held for observation, police said. Her condition was listed as good.

Carnes said at least one bullet buried itself in the church door and two unoccupied cars parked near the intersection had their windows shattered when bullets hit them. Bullets also hit the bodies of the vehicles.

Police found at least a dozen shell casings on the ground.

Shortly after the shooting, Carnes said it wasn't clear who the gunman's target was, but that Woodley was expected to be interviewed by police.

Carnes recalled the shooting two weeks ago in which two innocent women were slain.

As the women walked through the intersection of Division and Gold streets at 12:35 a.m. Dec. 26 on their way to a Chinese carryout, at least two men began firing 9mm handguns at two other men.

Caught in the gunfire and killed were Helen Davis, 39, of the 2100 block of McCulloh St., and her niece, Joanne Curbeam, 30, of the 2000 block of McCulloh St.

One man has been charged with their deaths and two others are being sought.

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