In an attack police believe was drug-related, a woman was shot to death, her 4-year-old son seriously wounded by a bullet to the head and two other people were either shot or stabbed by several men who invaded two homes in southeast Baltimore, police said.
The names of the victims were withheld pending notification of relatives, police said.
Sgt. Jay Landsman of the homicide squad said the shootings and stabbing are drug-related and that possible suspects in the attacks may have been identified.
"We think we know who did this," Sergeant Landsman said.
Sergeant Landsman said the houses were in the 1200 block of Tennant Way and the 1200 block of Urban Way in the O'Donnell Heights section. The homes are less than a block from each other, Sergeant Landsman said.
Shortly after 11:30 p.m., police responded to reports that occupants of houses on Tennant Way and Urban Way had been shot and stabbed by several men who burst in with knives and handguns.
When police entered the house on Tennant Way they found the nude body of a woman in her 20s lying on the floor of her second-floor front bathroom. Sergeant Landsman said the woman had been shot at least once and was pronounced dead at the scene.
In another room, police found the dead woman's 4-year-old son bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head.
The child, a kindergarten student at Graceland Park-O'Donnell Heights Elementary School, was rushed by ambulance to the pediatric intensive care unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition today.
Inside the house on Urban Way, police found a second woman and a man. Each had been shot or stabbed. The woman, police said, may have been raped.
The man, who was beaten and stabbed, was taken to the Francis Scott Key Medical Center, where he was treated and released. He was later taken to police headquarters and interviewed.
Sergeant Landsman said the woman found in the house on Urban Way was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital. She was admitted in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body.
Sergeant Landsman said each house had so much blood on the floors and in several rooms that it was possible that others may have been shot or stabbed by the attackers but fled before police arrived.
Sergeant Landsman said it appeared more than one handgun was used. He also said it appeared that different people entered each house within minutes of each other.
Shortly after police arrived, they cordoned off the dwelling and began talking to neighbors.
Deborah Delaney, who lives next to the Tennant Way house where the violence occurred, said she was watching television around 11:30 p.m. when she heard the sound of the front door next door opening and then being shut. A few minutes later, she heard the same door open and shut, as though someone had entered the house for a few minutes before leaving.
Ms. Delaney said she never saw anyone leaving the house and never heard any gunshots.
"Nearly every night around here," Ms. Delaney said, "you can hear gunshots, but I'm really surprised that I didn't hear any noise coming from the house next door."