A Northwest Baltimore man was shot and killed early today by a passenger while driving on Cathedral Street, becoming the city's 175th homicide victim of 1992.
The homicide count now is 22 more than at the same time last year. There were 304 slayings for all of 1991, one less than the previous year when police recorded the most homicides since 1972.
Ervin Nathaniel Brown, 41, of 5200 block of Fern Park Ave., was found draped over the steering wheel of his 1987 gray Dodge Charger, which had veered off the street and into the side of a brick apartment building. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Homicide detectives said the apparent motive for the shooting was robbery. Police were looking for a black man aged 17 to 22, about 5 feet 7 with a thin build. He was wearing dark clothing and armed with a large silver revolver, police said.
Police said Mr. Brown was driving in the 700 block of Cathedral St. about 12:15 a.m. when an argument broke out with his passenger, who pulled a gun.
The two men struggled and the gunman shot Mr. Brown in the left cheek, in the chest and once in the right side. Another bullet struck the roof of the car.
Witnesses said they heard at least five shots.
Soon after crossing Madison Street, the victim's car swerved onto the sidewalk at the Severn Apartments, at 701 Cathedral St., and struck a brick wall.
The suspect jumped out of the wrecked car and probably fired one more shot into the vehicle, police said.
He then got into the passenger seat of a nearby small dark car. The driver sped south down Cathedral Street, police said.
Meanwhile, city police said, they have no arrests or motive in yesterday's unrelated shootings of two 15-year-old youths, one of whom was found slain in the 2400 block of Reisterstown Road.
The fatally wounded youth, yesterday thought to be a man in his 20s, was identified today by police as Duron Curtis of the 1700 block of Presstman St.
Officers found young Curtis lying in the street about 3 a.m. yesterday as they responded to a report of a shooting. Two men also were wounded.
Just after 7 p.m. yesterday, another 15-year-old, Daquann Spencer of the 3300 block of Chesterfield Ave., was found wounded in the parking lot of Parkside Gardens Apartments in the 5000 block of Conant way, police said.
The victim was taken to the Maryland Shock-Trauma Center, where he was in serious stable condition today, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Police said he was shot in the head by another youth during an argument.
Three spent 9mm shells were found at the scene.